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Does Your Brain Eat Itself

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Great Britain And Ireland

Both Ireland and Great Britain are islands, as a result of which neither boasts a continental-class river. Twenty of the 30 longest British rivers are less than 100 miles long. The longest river in Britain is the Severn , its catchment area shown in blue in the southwest. Ireland’s longest river is the Shannon . Even combined they’re not as long as France’s Seine . Image: Grasshopper Geography

When Your Body Needs Nourishment Your Brain Eats First

20 October 2017

Even if you’re a generous person who believes in sharing, helping the needy and spreading wealth, your brain is a selfish glutton.

Sometimes your body will find itself in a real pickle: Both your brain and your muscles need to work hard, but you just can’t handle running both systems at once. New research published today in the journal Scientific Reports lends support to the idea that the brain chooses to prioritize itself. The findings show that in this type of situation, a person’s cognitive performance will suffer far less than their physical output.

“This is important because our ancestors made the transition from ‘soldier to diplomat,'” said study researcher Daniel Longman, a biological anthropologist from the University of Cambridge in the U.K. “We began to invest fewer resources in developing and maintaining high levels of muscularity, and instead began to achieve status through the development of enhanced social manipulation skills,” he told Live Science.

The selfish-brain theory, which postulates that a person’s brain will first and foremost allocate fuel and resources to itself over other parts of the body, first emerged in a 2004 paper published in the journal Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews. Longman’s research set out to test the idea by having 62 male rowers from the University of Cambridge’s crew team complete three tasks.

Sleeping The Garbage Away

Sleeping is a complex phenomenon, still poorly understood. We do know that sleeping is much more than just the body replenishing its energy levels. For instance, research has shown that during sleep, the brain sweeps away the toxic byproducts of neural activity from the day. Its like taking out the garbage inside your brain. Well, that process also takes place, even more intensely, when youre chronically sleep deprived which is bizarre in the first place and we dont really know why this happens. But after a while, the damage starts to set in, affecting both neurons and synapses ; once that happens, even recovering the sleep isnt really clearing the damage.

This happens because like all cells inside our body, neurons are cleaned up by glial cells, namely the microglial cells. These are the first and main form of active immune defense in the central nervous system. Synapses are maintained by astrocytes, which among other functions, prune unnecessary synapses and corrects their shape. These processes happen mostly when we sleep. What this study found is that they happen even faster when we dont sleep enough the brain cleans too much of itself, and starts devouring itself. Its an unexpected discovery.

We show for the first time that portions of synapses are literally eaten by astrocytes because of sleep loss, says Bellesi.

Cytokine Stormcaused By Covid

In its most severe form, COVID-19 causes life-threatening pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome that could lead to hospitalization or even death. Coronavirus has already killed over 130,000 Americans and counting. This is not the only bad news: Doctors are observing that many patients who managed to survive COVID-19 feel better only for a short time. After that time their confused immune system reacts out of proportion causing dangerous organ inflammation. It’s called “cytokine storm.”

“One of the great mysteries of the new coronavirus is why it causes only mild disease in most people, but turns fatal for others,” reports WebMD. “In many cases, it seems the worst damage may be driven by a deranged immune response to the infection, rather than the virus itself. In many of the sickest patients with COVID-19, their blood is teeming with high levels of immune system proteins called cytokines. Scientists believe these cytokines are evidence of an immune response called a cytokine storm, where the body starts to attack its own cells and tissues rather than just fighting off the virus.”

As a cytokine storm is similar to the immune response seen in people with a type of arthritis, the scientists are investigating several anti-inflammatory drugs used to treat this disease as possible treatments for COVID-19.

Dieting Forces Brain To Eat Itself Scientists Claim

A lack of sleep makes your brain eat itself, new study ...

Dieters struggle to lose weight because a lack of nutrition forces their brain cells to eat themselves, making the feeling of hunger even stronger, scientists claim.

Like other parts of the body, brain cells begin to eat themselves as a last-ditch source of energy to ward off starvation, a study found.

The body responds by producing fatty acids, which turn up the hunger signal in the brain and increase our impulse to eat.

Researchers from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine at Yeshiva University in New York said the findings could lead to new scientifically proven weight loss treatments.

Tests on mice found that stopping the brain cells from eating themselves a process known as autophagy prevented levels of hunger from rising in response to starvation.

The chemical change in their brains caused the mice to become lighter and slimmer after a period of fasting, the researchers reported in the journal Cell Metabolism.

Dr Rajat Singh, who led the study, said: “A pathway that is really important for every cell to turn over components in a kind of housekeeping process is also required to regulate appetite.

“Treatments aimed at the pathway might make you less hungry and burn more fat, a good way to maintain energy balance in a world where calories are cheap and plentiful.”

Nutritional Psychiatry: What Does It Mean For You

Start paying attention to how eating different foods makes you feel not just in the moment, but the next day. Try eating a “clean” diet for two to three weeks that means cutting out all processed foods and sugar. See how you feel. Then slowly introduce foods back into your diet, one by one, and see how you feel.

When some people “go clean,” they cannot believe how much better they feel both physically and emotionally, and how much worse they then feel when they reintroduce the foods that are known to enhance inflammation.

Staying Up All Night Effects Your Ability To Learn

Thinking of going to work or school when you’re sleep deprived? You’re actually better of staying home, though that’s usually not a realistic option. WebMD reported that when you try to learn something new after staying up all night, you probably won’t remember it. Because, sleep-deprived people aren’t able to retain new information, pulling an all night to cram for a test is actually a complete waste of time that is better spent sleeping.

Can Your Brain Shrink From Lack Of Sleep

Sleep is not only linked to rest, but also to the medical issue. A study published by the journal Neurology determined that lack of sleep affects the brain and shrinks it.

In this article we answered the question Can the brain eat itself? We detailed the situations where the brain becomes a bit cannibalistic, why it does it and how to avoid it.

If you have any questions or comments please let us know!

The Brain May Eat Itself

In rats, this process practically consists of consuming the synapses in their brain and suggests that the same effect may occur in humans. Not sleeping several nights in a row could cause this function to overflow, making us prone to degenerative diseases like Alzheimers or contributing to dementia in the long term.

Why Diets Don’t Work: Starved Brain Cells Eat Themselves Study Finds

Cell Press
A new report might help to explain why it’s so frustratingly difficult to stick to a diet. When we don’t eat, hunger-inducing neurons in the brain start eating bits of themselves. That act of self-cannibalism turns up a hunger signal to prompt eating.

A report in the August issue of the Cell Press journal Cell Metabolism might help to explain why it’s so frustratingly difficult to stick to a diet. When we don’t eat, hunger-inducing neurons in the brain start eating bits of themselves. That act of self-cannibalism turns up a hunger signal to prompt eating.

“A pathway that is really important for every cell to turn over components in a kind of housekeeping process is also required to regulate appetite,” said Rajat Singh of Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

The cellular process uncovered in neurons of the brain’s hypothalamus is known as autophagy Singh says the new findings in mice suggest that treatments aimed at blocking autophagy may prove useful as hunger-fighting weapons in the war against obesity.

The new evidence shows that lipids within the so-called agouti-related peptide neurons are mobilized following autophagy, generating free fatty acids. Those fatty acids in turn boost levels of AgRP, itself a hunger signal.

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Breakdown Of Muscle And Neurons

When starvation is allowed to continue for an extended time period, most of the body’s stored fat has been used up and the shortage of vitamins and minerals becomes significant. At this point, the body’s only chance of survival is to metabolize its own muscles and connective tissue. The brain too lacks essential nutrients and begins to break down its own neurons to keep the rest alive. According to a study published in the January 2009 issue of “Journal of Biological Chemistry,” male and female brains react differently during starvation. The male brain more quickly begins to use its own tissue to supply nutrients.

The Brain Literally Starts Eating Itself When It Doesn’t Get Enough Sleep

The need for sleep goes far beyond simply replenishing our energy levels every 12 hours. Our brains actually change states when we sleep to clear away the toxic byproducts of neural activity left behind during the day.

Weirdly enough, the same process starts to occur in brains that are chronically sleep-deprived too – except it’s kicked into hyperdrive.

Researchers have found that persistently poor sleep causes the brain to clear a significant amount of neurons and synaptic connections, and recovering sleep might not be able to reverse the damage.

A team led by neuroscientist Michele Bellesi from the Marche Polytechnic University in Italy examined the mammalian brain’s response to poor sleeping habits, and found a bizarre similarity between the well-rested and sleepless mice.

Like the cells elsewhere in your body, the neurons in your brain are being constantly refreshed by two different types of glial cell – support cells that are often called the glue of the nervous system.

The microglial cells are responsible for clearing out old and worn out cells via a process called phagocytosis – meaning “to devour” in Greek.

The astrocytes’ job is to prune unnecessary synapses in the brain to refresh and reshape its wiring.

We’ve known that this process occurs when we sleep to clear away the neurological wear and tear of the day, but now it appears that the same thing happens when we start to lose sleep.

To figure this out, the researchers imaged the brains of four groups of mice:

Does Your Brain Eat Itself Away When You Havent Got Enough Sleep

Your brain may eat itself when youre overtired: study ...

The power of getting enough sleep goes far beyond replenishing and refreshing your mind. It also possesses the power to clear out the toxic byproducts that are left behind after the entire day. However, when you are affected by sleep deprivation and trying to get some good sleep, you are actually causing harm to your brain. A new study conducted by researchers shows how a lack of sleep can cause your other brain cells to eat away your brains synapses.

A group of neuroscientists at the Marche Polytechnic University in Italy conducted their research on a group of mice. The study enabled the mice to receive varied hours of sleep, ranging between eight hours of sleep daily to no sleep for five days straight. The brain performs certain positive activities while we are asleep. The glial cells or the astrocytes clear out the brain of synapses and rejuvenate it. It destroys the old cells via the process called phagocytosis. The brain removes unnecessary and irrelevant parts and makes room for new memories.

Therefore, it can be concluded that it is extremely crucial to get the pending amount of sleep in order to prevent our brain from eating itself up. The researchers are trying to find out ways to deduce how long the effects of sleep deprivation actually last.

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Lack Of Sleep Can Literally Make Your Brain Eat Itself

Sweet dreams everyone

Were all obsessed with sleep arent we? Are we getting enough? Are we getting too much? Are you tired because you sleep too little, or because you just went and overslept? Oh the small talk we can make about sleeping can go on for hours . Well, you shouldnt be joking about it because it turns out that lack of sleep can LITERALLY MAKE YOUR BRAIN EAT ITSELF.

Have we got your attention now? Good, now read on, and make it quick because youll want to be catching those zzzzs tonight for goddamn sure.

A study, conducted by Michele Bellesi of the Marche Polytechnic University in Italy and published in the Journal of Neuroscience, saw mice subjected to regular sleep, spontaneous wake, sleep deprivation and chronic sleep deprivation.

They then used block-face scanning software to measure the synapses and cell processes in the frontal cortexes of the mice.

They found that sleep-deprived mice showed increased activity with astrocyte cells, and chronically sleep-deprived mice had increased activity of microglial activation.

A mouse, playing a harp there

We show for the first time that portions of the synapses are literally eaten by astrocytes because of sleep loss, Bellesi told New Scientist. However, he explained that this is not necessarily a bad thing, since it could be the brains way of cleaning up old brain debris. Still, it is brain-eating, and were not entirely comfortable with that, even if it might be good brain-eating.

A bit like Hannibal then.

How The Study Was Conducted

Researchers divided the mice into three different groups:

  • The first group slept for 6 to 8 hours
  • The next group was periodically woken up from sleep
  • A third group was kept awake for an extra 8 hours
  • The final group was kept awake for five days straight .

The researchers compared the activity of astroytes across the four groups and made some interesting findings. They found it in 5.7% of the synapses in well-rested brains and 7.3 in the spontaneously awoken group.

The sleep-deprived and chronically sleep-deprived groups showed something unexpected, however. The astrocytes increased their activity and were actually eating parts of the synapses. The sleep-deprived brains had active astrocytes in 8.4 % of the synapses while the chronically sleep-deprived group showed activity in 13.5% of the synapses.

Thats a problem, because unbridled microglial activity has been proven to be linked to diseases like Alzheimers and other types of neurodegenerative diseases.

We find that astrocytic phagocytosis, mainly of presynaptic elements in large synapses, occurs after both acute and chronic sleep loss, but not after spontaneous wake, suggesting that it may promote the housekeeping and recycling of worn components of heavily used, strong synapses, researchers stated in the report.

The study hasnt been conducted on humans yet, but the fact that Alzheimers has increased by 50 percent since 1999 means that this is definitely an important area to study.

Nutritional Psychiatry: Your Brain On Food

    Think about it. Your brain is always “on.” It takes care of your thoughts and movements, your breathing and heartbeat, your senses it works hard 24/7, even while youre asleep. This means your brain requires a constant supply of fuel. That “fuel” comes from the foods you eat and whats in that fuel makes all the difference. Put simply, what you eat directly affects the structure and function of your brain and, ultimately, your mood.

    Like an expensive car, your brain functions best when it gets only premium fuel. Eating high-quality foods that contain lots of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants nourishes the brain and protects it from oxidative stress the “waste” produced when the body uses oxygen, which can damage cells.

    Unfortunately, just like an expensive car, your brain can be damaged if you ingest anything other than premium fuel. If substances from “low-premium” fuel get to the brain, it has little ability to get rid of them. Diets high in refined sugars, for example, are harmful to the brain. In addition to worsening your bodys regulation of insulin, they also promote inflammation and oxidative stress. Multiple studies have found a correlation between a diet high in refined sugars and impaired brain function and even a worsening of symptoms of mood disorders, such as depression.

    Sleep Helps Us Release Toxins

    Sleep regenerates our immune system, our respiratory system, and our energy levels, allowing our brain to process the information it has acquired during the day, in addition to regulating our blood pressure and heart rate. But it also eliminates toxins from the neurological activity we experience during the day. When we dont have enough hours of rest, our body converts these toxins into a kind of fuel reserve.

    The Research From 2017

    Researchers from the Marche Polytechnic University in Italy, headed by neuroscientist Michele Bellesi, conducted the study in 2017 that led to this discovery using four groups of mice with varying degrees of rest.

    One group got six to eight hours of sleep, meaning they are well-rested, while another group is periodically woken up.

    On the other hand, one group of mice was kept awake for an extra eight hours, making them the sleep-deprived group; the last one was kept awake for five days straight, making them chronically sleep-deprived.

    The team then began imaging their brains and compared them, looking for astrocyte activity.

    Being Sleep Deprived Contributes To Depression

    The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults get between seven-to-nine hours of sleep a night. If you regularly get less, it can have a negative effect on your mental health. WebMD reported that people who consistently get less than six hours of sleep a night are more likely to suffer from anxiety and depression. “Lack of sleep caused by another medical illness or by personal problems can make depression worse.” What’s more, some people with depression are more likely to suffer from insomnia, which creates a vicious cycle of sleep deprivation and depression feeding each other.

    No Earlier Than 8:30 Am

    That is why the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended in 2014 that school for middle and high school students should start no earlier than 8:30 am. It is good advice that largely goes unheeded. The AAP found that fully 93 percent of American high school bells ring before that time. This map, compiled from data provided by the National Center for Education Statistics for the years 2017 and 2018, supports that finding.

    In only three places Washington DC, Alaska, and South Carolina did a student’s day start at or after the recommended earliest time of 8:30 . Here is an overview, enough to make all but the most hardcore morning-persons shudder:

    Only in Washington DC, Alaska, and South Carolina does the school day start at or after the recommended earliest time of 8:30 am.

    Overall, about 40 percent of American high schools start before 8 am and more than 20 percent start at 7:45 am or earlier. Only 15 percent start at or after the recommended earliest starting time of 8:30 am.

    How The Foods You Eat Affect How You Feel

    Does Your Brain Eat Itself When You Diet

    Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps regulate sleep and appetite, mediate moods, and inhibit pain. Since about 95% of your serotonin is produced in your gastrointestinal tract, and your gastrointestinal tract is lined with a hundred million nerve cells, or neurons, it makes sense that the inner workings of your digestive system dont just help you digest food, but also guide your emotions. Whats more, the function of these neurons and the production of neurotransmitters like serotonin is highly influenced by the billions of “good” bacteria that make up your intestinal microbiome. These bacteria play an essential role in your health. They protect the lining of your intestines and ensure they provide a strong barrier against toxins and “bad” bacteria; they limit inflammation; they improve how well you absorb nutrients from your food; and they activate neural pathways that travel directly between the gut and the brain.

    This may sound implausible to you, but the notion that good bacteria not only influence what your gut digests and absorbs, but that they also affect the degree of inflammation throughout your body, as well as your mood and energy level, is gaining traction among researchers.

    Your Brain Begins To Eat Itself When You Dont Sleep

    You may know that a good sleep schedule is a vital component of a healthy lifestyle, but did you know that when you dont get enough sleep, your brain starts eating itself?

    Im not saying this in the literal sense of the word, but research from the Polytechnic University of Marche in Italy shows that astrocytes, a type of glial cells in the brain that regularly shed unnecessary nerve connections, begin to break down healthy nerve synapses in response to chronic sleep deprivation.

    In the study, the mice were divided into four groups: rested ; spontaneously awake ; sleep deprived , and chronically sleep deprived .

    The researchers then looked at the activity of the astrocytes in each of the four groups. In well-rested mice, 5.7% of brain synapses had astrocyte activity. In mice that were spontaneously awake, the amount changed to 7.3%. But in mice that were sleep-deprived and chronically sleep-deprived, the number rose to 8.4% and 13.5%.

    Chronic Sleep Deprivation Makes Your Brain Eat Itself

    OK, this might be the best reason to make sure you’re getting enough sack time. New Scientist reported that chronic sleep deprivation makes your brain eat itself. While in the short term, your brain eating old worn out cells is helpful, consistently not getting enough sleep means that your brain might not be making new cells as fast as it’s eating the old ones. And, this could increase your chances of developing dementia when you get older. Um, no thanks.

    New Study Reveals Troubling Aftereffects In Recovered Covid

    Brain food isnt always a good thing.

    Sleep deprivation actually causes the brain to feed off of neurons and synaptic connections, a new study published in the Journal of Neuroscience says.

    In other words, when you dont get enough sleep, your brain starts to eat itself. Yum.

    Neuroscientist Michele Bellesi, from the Marche Polytechnic University in Italy, led a study examining the brains response to poor sleep habits using well-rested and overtired mice, Science Alert reported.

    Groups of mice in the study were given varying amounts of sleep, ranging from a solid eight hours to being forced to stay awake for five straight days, according to the study.

    During sleep, glial cells, or astrocytes, clear the brain of  synapses to rejuvenate the brain, US News reported.  Another cell is also at work when youre snoozing. The microglial cell destroys old and worn out cells via a process called phagocytosis meaning to devour in Greek, Science Alert revealed.

    These processes have a positive effect while you sleep, rewiring and replenishing the brain for the next day. Essentially, the brain is eliminating whats irrelevant, holding onto whats vital, and making room for new memories, Newsweek explains. 

    However, when you stay awake, the cells actually go into overdrive and start hurting the brain instead.

    The study found that sleep-deprived mice had more active astrocytes than well-rested mice, which means the brain appeared to begin eating itself, US News reported.

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