Another shout out for silence...

Today's BBC headline "Dementia rates 'higher near busy roads' ( - they must have read yesterday's Balancore blog...

So what can you do to reduce your chance of neurodegeneration (brain cell loss or damage) if you live or work near a busy road?

1. Invest in some earplugs at night.

Background noise at night has been associated with increased levels of cortisol production (Spreng 2004), which can cause a lack of blood to the brain and other areas of the body.

I come from motorcycle stock (in case you are interested, the men in family have all won the IOM TT) so earplugs have been a big part of my life! For years, all motorcyclists seem to rely on the most basic foam earplugs which work by "absorbing sound waves by increasing air resistance" (Sanders R 2015). These can be found in many places online or in your local chemist (see some basic earplug options here). This may however account for my father's consistent "shout" which he puts down to years of bikes. Therefore, I would only recommend such basic earplugs for day to day life.

These days, more snazzy ones are available which I would certainly be calling towards if I were involved in high volume activities. For more information on ear def