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Brain Health, Plasticity, Neurogenesis Therapies

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“Specific pathologies, aging or some inadequate life habits can deteriorate cognitive functionality…However, there are cognitive stimulation techniques that help us prevent this deterioration and even improve our…”

Cognitive function, dementia, neurogenesis- to me they are all fancy words that are talking about my brain health. Conventional medicine and the FDA only research and develop drugs to manage dementia.

I underwent lots of toxicity in the form of chemotherapy when I was diagnosed with a blood cancer called multiple myeloma. And my brain health took a beating. We cancer survivors call it chemo brain. But the long and short of chemo brain is brain damage caused by toxicity.

I’ve spent the past 10-15 years trying to heal the brain damage caused by all the therapies given to me to heal me. I’m talking about

  • nutrition supplementation, 
  • lifestyle therapies
  • brain games
  • clean nutrition

Really simple, straightforward stuff. But it words. And none of it, none of these therapies are toxic. Go figure.

Do you have dementia? Brain health impaired in some way. Scroll down the page, post a question or a comment and I will reply to you ASAP.

Thanks,

David Emerson

  • Cancer Survivor
  • Cancer Coach
  • Director PeopleBeatingCancer

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Brain Plasticity and Neurogenesis: How Do They Affect Your Brain?

“For decades, scientists have puzzled over whether the brain can change during the course of a lifetime. Today, we know it can.

Neuroscientists call this “brain plasticity.” Also known as neural plasticity or neuroplasticity, it sometimes involves a process called neurogenesis, which is defined as the creation of new neurons…

“Brain plasticity” refers to the nervous system’s ability to transform and reorganize itself throughout your life span, usually in response to experiences or stimuli…

Brain development was once thought to stop completely a few years after puberty, but we now know the brain continues to adapt and change well into adulthood.

While the changes are definitely less dramatic than those of the developing brain, they are crucial to our ability to learn, form memories, and recover from illnesses and injuries…

Types of brain plasticity

There are two major types of brain plasticity:

  • Functional. Functional plasticity refers to neural activity and connectivity, and how it changes in response to certain events or experiences. For example, after an injury such as a stroke, activity may increase in certain areas of the brain to compensate for lost functions.
  • Structural. New information and experiences — for instance, learning a new language, taking music lessons, or exploring the streets of a new city — can change the physical structure of the brain, making certain areas increase or decrease in size…
What is neurogenesis? 

“Neurogenesis” refers to the formation of new neurons. It’s an important part of brain plasticity, but it’s not the only example.

New neurons mostly form before birth and in the early years of life, when the brain is still developing. They then migrate and differentiate to carry out a wide range of functions within the nervous system. There are thousands of different types of neurons in the human brain.

It’s only recently that neuroscientists have discovered evidence of adult neurogenesis, but it’s still a subject of intense debate…

What’s the importance of brain plasticity and neurogenesis?

Brain plasticity is critical to human development from the moment the nervous system starts to form in an embryo. In fact, it’s hard to imagine what human life would look like if the brain didn’t change and evolve…

A number of current studies also focus on the importance of neuroplasticity and neurogenesis in aging. In particular, evidence from animal studiesTrusted Source suggests that hippocampal neurogenesis may protect against cognitive decline, along with age-related illnesses, such as Alzheimer’s disease and stroke…

What can you do to boost brain plasticity and neurogenesis?

Brain plasticity varies a lot from one person to the next. While age is a crucial factor, researchers believe your personality and lifestyle also influence it.

If that’s the case, it may be possible to boost neuroplasticity and neurogenesis with certain behaviors. This includes the following proven actions:

  • Regular exercise. Getting regular exercise promotes neuroplasticity. To incorporate exercise into your life and continue doing it regularly, find an activity you enjoy that gets you moving.
  • Stress management. Stress can reduce neural plasticity and neurogenesis, according to a 2022 review. Although it’s not possible to avoid stress altogether, you can take steps to minimize and manage its effects.
  • A nutritious diet. ResearchTrusted Source suggests that diets high in fat and sugar can harm adult neurogenesis. On the other hand, consuming polyphenols, such as turmeric, can promote neuroplasticity.
  • Lifelong learning. Learning is a proven way to boost brain function. Try taking a class, learning a new language, playing an instrument, reading books, playing games, or doing puzzles.
  • Good quality sleep. Sleep plays a role in synaptic plasticity, according to a 2017 studyTrusted Source. Try to prioritize your sleep and aim for 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night.
  • Mental health care. Studies show that depression can prevent neural plasticity. In contrast, antidepressant treatments may increase adult neural plasticity.
  • Substance use disorder treatment. Alcohol and substance use disorders can decrease neuroplasticity, according to a 2020 reviewTrusted Source. If managing or stopping alcohol or drug use is difficult, help is available right now…”

Cognitive Activity and Onset Age of Incident Alzheimer Disease Dementia

Objective To test the hypothesis that higher level of cognitive activity predicts older age at dementia onset in Alzheimer disease (AD) dementia.

Methods As part of a longitudinal cohort study, 1,903 older persons without dementia at enrollment reported their frequency of participation in cognitively stimulating activities. They had annual clinical evaluations to diagnose dementia and AD, and the deceased underwent neuropathologic examination. In analyses, we assessed the relation of baseline cognitive activity to age at diagnosis of incident AD dementia and to postmortem markers of AD and other dementias.

Results During a mean of 6.8 years of follow-up, 457 individuals were diagnosed with incident AD at a mean age of 88.6 (SD 6.4, range 64.1–106.5) years. In an extended accelerated failure time model, higher level of baseline cognitive activity (mean 3.2, SD 0.7) was associated with older age at AD dementia onset (estimate 0.026; 95% confidence interval 0.013–0.039). Low cognitive activity (score 2.1, 10th percentile) was associated with a mean onset age of 88.6 years compared to a mean onset age of 93.6 years associated with high cognitive activity (score 4.0, 90th percentile). Results were comparable in subsequent analyses that adjusted for potentially confounding factors. In 695 participants who died and underwent a neuropathologic examination, cognitive activity was unrelated to postmortem markers of AD and other dementias.

Conclusion A cognitively active lifestyle in old age may delay the onset of dementia in AD by as much as 5 years.”

12 types of cognitive stimulation activities

“Specific pathologies, aging or some inadequate life habits can deteriorate cognitive functionality. However, there are cognitive stimulation techniques that help us prevent this deterioration and even improve our:

  • attention,
  • memory,
  • reasoning and
  • comprehension,

among other mental capabilities. This post summarizes the specific types of cognitive stimulation exercises for attention, perception and memory, among others, with examples of materials and worksheets…

Types of cognitive stimulation activities and techniques

Cognitive stimulation refers to the set of techniques, strategies and materials to improve performance and effectiveness of cognitive capabilities and executive functions such as memory, attention, language, reasoning and planning, among others. Nowadays there are several strategies to train our brain, from classical exercise workbooks to more dynamic, innovative techniques such as brain training games and neurotechnology

infographic of cognitive capabilities and mental functions

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