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Connor B Judge Foundation LogoConnor B Judge Foundation

Wellness


A healthy lifestyle, including a well-balanced plant-based diet and regular exercise, may be beneficial to managing an autoimmune disease such as NMO. On this page, we’ll highlight nuggets of information and studies that can help inform incorporation of lifestyle approaches or ‘biohacks’ that may help.

Exercise

We all know that regular exercise is important to a healthy lifestyle. Intriguingly and importantly to multiple sclerosis, another neurological autoimmune disease that NMO has been misdiagnosed as, more scientific data is emerging showing the benefit of regular exercise on patient quality of life and outcome. Here are some highlights from a 2017 study on "Exercise prescription for patients with MS; potential benefits and practical recommendations."

Benefits of Exercise in Multiple Sclerosis

Diet

Are you trying to find a brain-healthy diet? Overwhelmed by all the promotion of different diets? Want to know some of the data that supports a particular diet for overall brain health or prevents brain fog?! Check out this article about The Science Behind the Mental Clarity Diet.

Highlights

  • While there’s compelling evidence to suggest that eating does have an impact on the brain, there’s little evidence that extreme diet patterns are better than the other, more low-key methods.,

  • Martha Clare Morris, an epidemiology professor of Chicago’s Rush Medical Center, concluded this from her research:

    The MIND diet: "It pulls together foods from the Mediterranean diet, like whole grains, legumes, and fish, and the plant-based low-fat DASH diet, which is designed to combat high blood pressure. Traditionally, both diets are recommended to prevent heart disease."

  • "Antioxidant nutrients, such as vitamins C, E, and B, as well as omega-3 fatty acids, are found to have positive effects on our cognitive capabilities by counteracting two of the factors thought to cause neurodegenerative diseases: oxidative stress and inflammation."

  • "Meal plans with foods high in antioxidants, like berries, nuts, seeds, and leafy greens, as well as nutrient-dense foods like beans and foods packed with omega-3s, like fish, all appear to help the brain."

  • Eat more whole food, less processed food.

  • It seems from the available data that you don’t have to follow an extreme diet to increase your brain health!

Mindfulness

Meditation

Research is showing the benefit of meditation associated with preservation of brain!

Studies are showing that regular meditation practice is associated with positive changes in the brain, particularly in the area of the brain involved with decision-making and working memory. Although all of us lose brain volume as we age, those in their 50s who regularly meditated had similar brain volumes as individuals in their 20s, suggesting a positive role of meditation in preserving brain. Other studies have shown positive results of just 15 minutes of daily meditation. Check out the review of the science behind meditation and brain volume preservation.