Revitalize your brain
The old myth is that a person is born with as many neurons as he would ever have are not true. Scientists have showed that adults can make neurons throughout their lives we call it Neurogenesis. [i]
New neurons might thus provide the cognitive adaptability to conquer ecological niches rich with challenging stimuli.[ii] In most mammals, neurons are added throughout life in the hippocampus and olfactory bulb.[iii]
A part of human evolution
These were how our adult ancestor used the spatial memory to find the food and return to their place from hunting.[i][ii] Some part of the brain neurogenesis most pronounced in Humans than other animal. This is the reason why we have higher cognitive abilities than any other living creature on earth.[iii]
Adult human neurogenesis
The hippocampus is one of the few areas of our brain that continues to produce neurons in adult. [iv]
In adult humans, 700 new neurons are added in each hippocampus per day, corresponding to an annual turnover of 1.75% of the neurons within the renewing fraction, with a modest decline during aging.[v]
The hippocampus is a small organ located within the brain’s medial temporal lobe and forms an important part of the limbic system, the region that regulates emotions. The hippocampus is associated mainly with memory, in particular long-term memory. The organ also plays an important role in spatial navigation.
The hippocampus is a region well known for its ability to remodel synapses and generate new neurons and volume loss in this region seems to be reversible.[i]
The major functions of the hippocampus include:
- Spatial navigation and spatial memory
- Ability to responses properly what have previously been learnt.
What happen if we lost our neurogenesis ability?
Damage to the hippocampus can lead to loss of memory and difficulty in establishing new memories.
Adult hippocampal neurogenesis dysregulation is associated with psychiatric disorders, such as affective disorders, schizophrenia, and drug addiction.[ii]
In Alzheimer’s disease, the hippocampus is one of the first regions of the brain to be affected, leading to the confusion and loss of memory so commonly seen in the early stages of the disease. Testing of spatial memory is a sensitive measure of early Alzheimer’s disease.[iii]
What factors dysregulation our neurogenesis?
Chronic exposure or more severe forms of stress can induce longer lasting reductions in neurogenesis. This may increase the risk to develop cognitive or anxiety symptoms, common to brain diseases like dementia and depression in which plasticity changes occur,[i]
Sleep deprivation inhibits adult neurogenesis in the hippocampus by elevating glucocorticoids.[ii] A publication in Journal American Geriatric Society 2012 shows that insomnia in older adult increase Alzheimer’s disease 139 %. [iii] Prolonged restriction or disruption of sleep leads to a major decrease in hippocampal neurogenesis.[iv]
Food that harm your brain
These are the foods that impair neurogenesis for example red meat, high fat and high sugar diet.
Dangers of a High-Fat Diet
High-Fat Diet fed mice significantly decreased the numbers of newly generated cells in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus. [v] Diets high in fat also decrease the learning and cognitive capabilities of rats.[vi]
Drugs – Sedative and anticonvulsant drugs
Sedative and anticonvulsant drugs cause apoptotic neurodegeneration in the developing mammalian brain. [vii] Does it wise to use sedative to reduce stress?
Alcohol and tobacco and most drugs of abuse such as heroine, and cocaine suppress neurogenesis.[viii]
Researchers found that neurogenesis was decreased by 28-33% during first 2 days after a binge alcohol exposure.[ix] While A meta-analysis of studies undertaken in the 1990s and early 2000s found that relative to never smokers, current smokers increase risk 79 % for Alzheimer’s disease.[x]
We call “chemobrain” among patient groups, who describe the symptoms as a decline in memory, concentration and executive functions after administration of systemic chemotherapy[xi]. Patients who received chemotherapy were 24% significantly more likely to develop drug-induced dementia compared to those without chemotherapy. [xii]
Individuals with type 2 diabetes are at ∼60% greater risk for the development of dementia compared with those without diabetes.[xiii]
Image how will be our quality of life if our brain still fit until the end of life. Here are some tips.
The promoter of neurogenesis
Aerobic exercise, such as running, has positive effects on brain structure and function by the generation of neurons (neurogenesis).[i] The publication Psychol Med 2009 show that people who physical active have lower dementia 28%, Alzheimer’s 45% and for Parkinson’s 18%.[ii]
Color in your Foods
Several antioxidants, such as flavonoids increase neurogenesis in rodent brains.
Flavonoids are a diverse group of plant chemicals found in almost all fruits and vegetables. They are responsible for the vivid colors in fruits and vegetables. Flavonoids are the largest group of phytonutrients, with more than 6,000 types. There are plenty of flavonoids in some of these food and beverage for example parsley, blueberry, citrus, peanut, curcumin, cocoa, black tea, wine etc.
J Neurosci. 1999 show that rat fed with blueberry, spinach, or strawberry dietary supplementation reverse of age-related declines in neuronal signal transduction, cognitive, and motor behavioral deficits. [iii]
Some other food that promote neurogenesis; food that contain omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin A, Thiamine, Zinc, Folate and herb like Laurel Clock Vine, Tiliacora triandra, Mulberry leaf, Asiatic pennywort ect.
A publication in Psychiatry Research 2012 show that mindfulness practice leads to increases in regional brain gray matter density. [i] Several studies have demonstrated the hippocampus to be anatomically altered in meditation practitioners.[ii]
Let talking and connect. Interesting study found that social isolation in adult mice impairs social memory persistence and that an enriched environment prevents this impairment.[iii]
Several studies support that Calorie Restriction enhances adult hippocampal neurogenesis and memory. Why? The theory for explanation is that in times of hunger the ability to remember would improve the likelihood of re-feeding successfully and thereby increase the chances of survival. [iv] How much Calorie Restriction is the most benefit?
How to get started on CR? A restricted diet of this sort aims to reduce the intake of calories to a level 20-40% lower than is typical, while still providing all the necessary nutrients and vitamins. With this in mind, CR is sometimes called “calorie restriction with optimal nutrition” or “CRON”. Calorie Restriction is not mean that you need to hungry, by taking more fruit and vegetable can make you full too.
Sleep, sunlight and sex.
A recent study published in the journal Current Topics in Behavioral Neurosciences found that sleep disruptions exceeding 24 hours inhibit cell proliferation, and in some cases neurogenesis.[v]
during sleep our brain secrete melatonin and growth hormone both of them are endogenous regulators of neurogenesis.[vi] [vii]
Exposure to sunlight
A 2013 study publish in Neural Regenerative Research found that exposure to sunlight during childhood can be beneficial for neural development.[viii]
A 2010 study published in the journal found that sex helps minimize both anxiety and corticosterone levels while promoting adult neurogenesis and stimulating the growth of dendritic spines and architecture in the hippocampus.