Our brain has the ability to change, recover and even be cured at any age
The human brain (Latin encephalon) is the organ of the central nervous system, consisting of many interconnected nerve cells and their processes.
The human brain occupies almost the entire cavity of the brain area of the skull, the bones of which protect the brain from external mechanical damage. In the process of growth and development, the brain takes the form of a skull. The human brain contains an average of 100 billion neurons and consumes 50% of the glucose produced by the liver and supplied to the blood.
Scientists studying the human brain in the past few years have discovered a number of unexpected aspects that determine the influence of the brain on the overall health of our body. However, some aspects of our behavior affect our brain. In addition, according to the modern point of view, which was formed relatively recently, the human brain does not stop its formation to adolescence.
Previously it was believed that the brain, starting at a rather early age (adolescence), is subjected to an inexorable process of aging, which reaches its peak in old age. However, it is now known that the human brain has the ability to change, recover and even heal, and this ability is truly limitless! It turns out that not only does age affect our brain, but how we use the brain throughout life.
Indeed, certain activities that require intense brain work can restart the so-called basal nucleus (a complex of subcortical neurons of a white matter), which, in turn, triggers the so-called brain neuroplasticity mechanism. In other words, neuroplasticity is an opportunity to control the state of the brain, supporting its working capacity.
While the functionality of the brain somewhat deteriorates naturally as the body ages (but not as critical as previously thought), certain strategic approaches and techniques allow creating new neural pathways and even improving the work of old ways, and, throughout the life of a person . And what is even more surprising is that such efforts to "reset" the brain have a long-lasting positive effect on the general state of health. How does this happen? Our thoughts can influence our genes!
We tend to think that our so-called genetic heritage, that is, a kind of genetic baggage of our body, is unchangeable matter. In our opinion, the parents gave us all the genetic material that they themselves once inherited - the genes of baldness, growth, weight, diseases and so on - and now we manage only by what we have received. But in fact, our genes are open to influence throughout our entire life, moreover, they are influenced not only by our actions, but also by our thoughts, feelings, and faith.
You should have heard that the genetic material can be affected by changing diet, lifestyle, physical activity and so on. So now the possibility of the same epigenetic effect caused by thoughts, feelings, and faith is quite seriously studied.
As already shown by numerous studies, the chemicals, which are affected by our mental activity, are able to interact with our genetic material, causing a powerful effect. Many of the processes in our body can be affected in the same way as when changing the diet, lifestyle, habitat. Our thoughts can literally turn off and turn on the activity of certain genes.
What do the studies say?
Doctor of Science and researcher Dawson Church spoke about the interaction that the patient's thoughts and belief have on the expression of disease-related and healing genes.
"Our body reads in our brains," says Church. - Science has established that we can have only a certain fixed set of genes in our chromosomes. However, which of these genes affect our subjective perception and the course of the various processes is of great importance. "
As a result of one of the studies conducted at Ohio University (Ohio University), the effect of mental stress on the cure process was visually demonstrated. The scientists conducted it among married couples: each participant of the experiment was left with little damage on the skin, leading to the appearance of a small blister. Then different pairs were offered within half an hour either to chat on a neutral topic, or to argue for a specific topic.
Then, for several weeks, scientists determined the level of three specific proteins in the body that affect the rate of wound healing. It turned out that those disputants who used the most stinging and harsh remarks in their disputes, and the level of these proteins and the speed of healing were 40 percent lower than those who spoke on a neutral topic.
Church explains this as follows: our body sends a signal in the form of a protein that activates certain genes associated with wound healing. Proteins activate genes that, using stem cells, create new skin cells to treat wounds.
However, when the energy of the body is depleted by the fact that it is spent on the production of stressful substances such as cortisol, adrenaline and norepinephrine, the signal that comes to your wound healing genes is significantly weakened. The recovery process lasts much longer. At the same time, if the human body is not tuned to fight some external threat, its energy resources remain intact and ready to perform healing missions.
Why is this very important for us?
There is no doubt that almost any person's body from birth is manned with the genetic material necessary for optimal functioning under daily physical loads. However, our ability to maintain the so-called mental balance has a huge impact on the ability of our body to use its resources. And even if you are full of aggressive thoughts, certain activities help set up your neural pathways to support less reactionary actions.
Chronic stress can prematurely age our brain
"We are constantly trapped by stress in our environment," says Howard Fillit, Ph.D., professor of geriatrics at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, and the head of a fund seeking new drugs for Alzheimer's. "However, the greatest harm comes from the mental stress that we feel inside ourselves in response to external stress."
Such a differentiation of stresses indicates the presence of a constant response of the whole organism in response to a constant external stress. This response affects our brain, leading to memory impairment and other aspects of mental activity. Thus, stress is a risk factor that affects the development of Alzheimer's disease, and also accelerates memory deterioration with aging. In this case, you can even begin to feel much older, as they say, mentally, than you really are.
Studies conducted by specialists from the University of California in San Francisco have shown that a constant response to stress (and constant bursts of cortisol) can lead to a decrease in the hippocampus - the most important part of the limbic system of the brain, responsible for both managing the effects of stress, both and for long-term memory. This is also one of the manifestations of neuroplasticity - but already negative.
Like other forms of relaxation, a complete renunciation of all thoughts is not only able to quickly put in order thoughts (and, correspondingly, a biochemical level of stress along with gene expression), but even to change the structure of the brain itself!
"Stimulating the areas of the brain that control positive emotions can strengthen neural connections in the same way that physical exercises strengthen muscles," Hanson says one of the main principles of neuroplasticity. However, the opposite is also true: "If you regularly think about those things that torture you and drive you crazy, you increase the sensitivity of the cerebellar amygdala, which is primarily responsible for negative experiences."
Hanson explained that this way we make our brain more receptive, and this leads to the fact that we are easily upset because of trifles in the future.
"The brain work in unison with the body through interoceptions protects our body from damage at the time of exercise," says Hanson, "and also helps to feel a pleasant and simple feeling that everything is in order in your body." Another plus of a healthy "islet "Is that you thus improve your instincts, intuition and empathy - the ability to empathize."
Every year of our life in old age is able to add to our minds
For a long time it was believed that closer to middle age, the human brain, once young and flexible, began to gradually give up positions. However, recent studies have shown that in middle age the brain is able to begin to manifest its peak activity. Studies show that, even in spite of bad habits, it is these years that are the most favorable for the most active work of the brain. It is then that we make the most conscious decisions, looking back at the experience gained.
Scientists who studied the human brain always assured us that the main cause of brain aging is the loss of neurons - the death of brain cells. However, scanning the brain with new technologies has shown that most of the brain supports the same number of active neurons throughout life. And even if some aspects of aging and truth lead to a deterioration of memory, reaction, and so on, there is a constant replenishment of the "stocks" of neurons. But due to what?
Scientists have called this process "brain ambulatory", in which simultaneous use of both the right and left hemispheres of the brain occurs. In the 1990s, in Canada, at the University of Toronto, thanks to the development of brain scanner technologies, it was possible to visualize and compare how the brain of young people and middle-aged people works when solving the next task of mindfulness and memory: it was necessary quickly remember the names of people in various photographs, and then try to remember who their name is.
Scientists expected that participants in the study of middle-aged people would be less able to cope with the task, but the results of experiments for both age groups were the same. But another thing was surprising: the positron emission tomography demonstrated that neuronal connections in young people were activated in a certain part of the brain, and in older people, in addition to activity in the same zone, part of the prefrontal cortex of the brain manifested itself.
Canadian scientists, based on the results of this and many other experiments, came to the following conclusion: the biological neural network of the brain of middle-aged people could give a slack in a certain zone, but then another part of the brain was connected, compensating for the "shortage". Thus, the aging process leads to the fact that people in middle age and older use their brains literally to a greater extent. In addition, there is an increase in the biological neural network in other areas of the brain.
Our brain is designed in such a way that it is able to cope with the circumstances (oppose them), showing flexibility. And the better to follow his health, the better he cope.
Researchers offer a whole range of activities that allow you to preserve the brain's health as long as possible:
- healthy food,
- physical activity,
- solving complex problems,
- constant study of something and so on.
And, it works at any age.
Via econet.com & wiki