Our brain has the ability to change, recover and even recover at any age.
The human brain (lat. Encephalon) is an 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 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 shape of a skull. The human brain contains an average of 100 billion neurons and consumes 50% of the glucose produced by the liver and entering the bloodstream for nutrition.
Scientists studying the human brain over the past few years have found a certain number of unexpected aspects that determine the effect 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 by adolescence.
It was previously believed that the brain, starting from a fairly early age (adolescence), undergoes 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 recover, and this ability is truly unlimited! It turns out that not so much age affects our brain, but the way we use the brain throughout life.
Indeed, a certain activity, requiring enhanced brain work, is able to “reload” the so-called basal nucleus (a complex of subcortical neurons of the white matter), which, in turn, triggers the so-called brain neuroplasticity mechanism. In other words, neuroplasticity is the ability to control the state of the brain, maintaining its performance.
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 you to create new neural pathways and even improve the functioning of old pathways, and throughout a person’s life . And even more surprisingly, such efforts to “reset” the brain have a lasting positive effect on overall 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 matter unchanged. In our opinion, the parents passed on to us all the genetic material that they themselves once inherited - genes for baldness, height, weight, disease, and so on - and now we get by with just what we got. But in fact, our genes are open to influence throughout our lives, and not only our actions, but also our thoughts, feelings, faith influence them.
You should have heard that genetic material can be influenced by changing diet, lifestyle, physical activity, and so on. So now the possibility of the same epigenetic effect, caused by thoughts, feelings, faith, is being seriously studied.
As numerous studies have already shown, chemicals that are affected by our mental activity are able to interact with our genetic material, causing a powerful effect. Many processes in our body can be influenced in the same way as when changing the diet, lifestyle, environment. Our thoughts can literally turn off and on the activity of certain genes.
What are the studies talking about?
Dawson Church, Ph.D. and researcher, spoke about the interaction that the patient’s thoughts and faith have in expressing disease-related and healing genes.
“Our body reads in our brains,” Church says. - Science has established that we can only have a certain fixed set of genes in our chromosomes. However, which of these genes affect our subjective perception and the course of various processes is of great importance. ”
As a result of one of the studies conducted at Ohio University, the effect of the influence of mental stress on the healing process was clearly demonstrated. Scientists conducted it among couples: each participant in the experiment was left with slight damage to the skin, leading to the appearance of a small blister. Then, various couples were offered, within half an hour, either to talk on a neutral topic, or to argue on 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 debaters who used the most acrimonious and harsh remarks in their disputes, both the level of these proteins and the healing rate 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 body’s energy 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 genes healing wounds weakens significantly. The recovery process takes much longer. At the same time, if the human body does not tune in to fight with some kind of external threat, its energy resources remain untouched and ready to perform healing missions.
Why is this so important to us?
There is no doubt that the body of almost any person from birth is equipped with the genetic material necessary for optimal functioning in conditions of daily physical activity. However, our ability to maintain the so-called mental balance has a huge impact on our body's ability to use its resources. And even if you are full of aggressive thoughts, a certain activity helps to set up your neural pathways to support less reactive actions.
Chronic stress can prematurely age our brains.
“We are constantly facing stress in our environment,” says Howard Fillit, MD, professor of geriatrics at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, and head of a fund to find new cures for Alzheimer's. “However, the mental stress that we feel inside ourselves in response to external stress does the most harm.”
Such a distinction of stress indicates the presence of a constant response of the whole organism in response to constant external stress. This response affects our brain, leading to impaired memory and other aspects of mental activity. Thus, stress is a risk factor that affects the development of Alzheimer's disease, and also accelerates memory impairment during human aging. In this case, you can even begin to feel much older than they say, mentally, what you really are.
Studies conducted by the University of California University of California in San Francisco have shown that a constant reaction 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, which is responsible for both regulating the effects of stress and 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, accordingly, the biochemical level of stress along with gene expression), but even change the structure of the brain itself!
“Stimulating the areas of the brain that drive positive emotions can strengthen neural connections just like physical exercises strengthen muscles,” says Hanson, one of the main principles of neuroplasticity. However, the opposite is also true: "If you regularly think about those things that torment you and drive you crazy, you increase the sensitivity of the cerebellar tonsil, which is primarily responsible for negative experiences."
Hanson explained that in this way we make our brain more susceptible, and this leads to the fact that we are easily upset about trifles in the future.
“The work of the brain in unison with the body through interoreception protects our body from damage at the time of exercise,” says Hanson. “It also helps to feel a pleasant and simple feeling that everything is in order in your body.” Another plus of a healthy “island "Is that in this way you improve your instincts, intuition and empathy - the ability to empathize."
Each year of our life in old age is able to add to our mind
For a long time it was believed that closer to middle age, the human brain, once young and flexible, begins to gradually lose ground. However, recent studies have shown that in middle age the brain is able to begin to exhibit its peak activity. Studies show that even despite bad habits, it is these years that are the most favorable for the most active brain activity. It is then that we make the most informed decisions, looking back at our experience.
Scientists who studied the human brain have always convinced us that the main cause of brain aging is the loss of neurons - the death of brain cells. However, brain scans using new technologies have shown that most of the brain maintains the same number of active neurons throughout life. And even provided that some aspects of aging do lead to a deterioration in memory, reaction, and so on, there is a constant replenishment of the “reserves” of neurons. But due to what?
Scientists called this process “bilateralization of the brain”, in which there is a simultaneous use of both the right and left hemispheres of the brain. In the 1990s, in Canada, at the University of Toronto, thanks to the development of brain scanning technologies, it was possible to visualize and compare how the brains of young and middle-aged people work in solving the following task of mindfulness and memory: it was necessary to quickly remember the names of people in various photographs, and then try to remember who is called.
Scientists expected middle-aged study participants to do worse with the task, but the experimental results were the same for both age groups. But something else was surprising: positron emission tomography demonstrated that neural connections in young people were activated in a certain part of the brain, and in older people, in addition to activity in the same area, a part of the prefrontal cortex also 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 slack in a certain area, but another part of the brain was immediately connected, compensating for the "shortage". Thus, the aging process leads to the fact that people in middle age and older use their brain 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 can cope with circumstances (to counteract them), showing flexibility. And the better to monitor his health, the better he copes.
Researchers offer a range of activities that allow you to maintain brain health for as long as possible:
- healthy eating
- physical activity,
- solving complex problems
- constant study of something and so on.
Moreover, it works at any age.
Via econet.ru & wiki