The Brain Glucose And Insulin
Brain cells are somewhat unique because they do not need insulin for glucose entry. Most other cells do require insulin for this purpose. Brain cells also do not use free fatty acids or amino acids for energy. Instead, they only use glucose or glycogen to meet energy demands and power cellular functions. Therefore, gluconeogenesis in the liver is very important. Between meals, if glucose were not produced by the liver, the brain would not have a usable source of energy.
The brain is the most energy-demanding organ in the body, using 50% of all sugar energy. Learning, memory, and thinking are closely linked to glucose levels, and how efficiently the brain is able to use glucose. When glucose in the brain is insufficient, neurotransmitters are not produced and communication between the neurons breaks down. Hypoglycemia can also lead to a loss of energy for brain function. This is linked to poor attention and cognitive function. However, too much glucose is also harmful to brain function, and is linked to memory and cognitive deficiencies. High glucose levels can actually cause the brain to atrophy or shrink, and lead to small-vessel disease that restricts blood flow. This leads to cognitive difficulties, and possibly, vascular dementia.
D.W. Choi, in, 2017
Brain Cells And The Hippocampus
While the vast majority of our brain’s cells are formed while we are in the womb, there are certain parts of the brain that continue to create new neural cells during infancy. Until recent decades, however, the brains limited capacity to regenerate triggered the belief that neurogenesisthe birth of new brain cellsceased soon after this stage.
However, research done over the last two decades has suggested that at least one part of the brain continues to create new cells throughout a person’s lifespan.
During the late 1990s, researchers at Rockefellers University in New York City conducted studies in which marmoset monkeys were injected with a tracer chemical that could differentiate between slow-dividing mature brain cells and fast-dividing new ones. What they found was that the hippocampus continued to create new cells without the constraint of age or time.
Later studies using carbon-14 dating confirmed that cells in the hippocampus, while continually dying, were quickly replaced by new ones. It is only by the formation of these cells that the hippocampus is able to maintain its central functions.
What it also showed us is that the number of new cells, and the frequency by which they are created, begin to decline with age. With that being said, the rate of decline wasn’t seen to be consistent and could vary significantly from subject to subject.
Q& a: Does Drinking Alcohol Kill Brain Cells
Q. Does drinking alcohol kill brain cells?
A. Alcohol is a neurotoxin that can disrupt communications of the brain. It also affects functions of brain cells directly and indirectly through different organ dysfunction from alcohol usage and vitamin deficiency. Depending on the area of the brain affected, people can have different symptoms. Abusing alcohol can lead to seizure, stroke and dementia, to name a few conditions. Additionally, alcohol is toxic to a developing brain during pregnancy and can cause birth defects, including developmental disorders with lifelong impact.
There has been talk about alcohol being good for the brain and heart. People like to say whats good for the heart is good for the brain. Recent findings now question alcohol’s benefit for the heart in terms of coronary heart disease. Theres a chemical found in red grapes called resveratrol that might be helpful to people with Alzheimers disease. This chemical is currently undergoing clinical trials, but more studies are needed at this time.
Theres no known level of safe drinking. Impact of alcohol consumption depends on the age, gender, medical issues, medications, genetics, personal situations, etc. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse on Alcoholism and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have very good information regarding alcohol consumption.
If you’re experiencing problems with alcohol, speak with your health care provider or a licensed counselor.
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New Covid Study Hints At Long
- A new U.K. study examined brain imaging before and after a coronavirus infection and looked specifically at the potential effect on the nervous system.
- In short, the study suggests that there could be some long-term loss of brain tissue from Covid, and that would have some long-term consequences, Gottlieb said.
- Gottlieb explained to CNBC’s “The News with Shepard Smith” that the destruction of brain tissue could explain why Covid patients lost their sense of smell.
Dr. Scott Gottlieb warned Thursday about the potential for long-term brain loss associated with Covid, citing a new study from the United Kingdom.
“In short, the study suggests that there could be some long-term loss of brain tissue from Covid, and that would have some long-term consequences,” the former FDA chief and CNBC contributor said.
“You could compensate for that over time, so the symptoms of that may go away, but you’re never going to regain the tissue if, in fact, it’s being destroyed as a result of the virus,” said Gottlieb, who serves on the board of Covid vaccine-maker Pfizer.
The U.K. study examined brain imaging before and after a coronavirus infection and looked specifically at the potential effect on the nervous system.
Gottlieb explained to CNBC’s “The News with Shepard Smith” that the destruction of brain tissue could explain why Covid patients lost their sense of smell.
How Many Calories Can The Brain Burn By Thinking
Here’s how much energy you can burn when you put your mind to the test.
In 1984, the World Chess Championship was abruptly, due to the worryingly emaciated frame of Anatoly Karpov, an elite Russian player who was competing for the title. Over the preceding five months and dozens of matches, Karpov had lost 22 lbs. , and competition organizers feared for his health.
Karpov’s wasn’t alone in experiencing the extreme physical effects of the game. While no chess competitor has experienced such profound weight loss since then, elite players can reportedly burn up to an estimated 6,000 calories in one day all without moving from their seats, ESPN reported.
Is the brain responsible for this massive uptake of energy? And does that mean that thinking harder is a simple route to losing weight? To delve into that question, we first need to understand how much energy is used up by a regular, non-chess-obsessed brain.
Related: How Are Calorie Counts Calculated?
When the body is at rest not engaged in any activity besides the basics of breathing, digesting and keeping itself warm we know that the brain uses up a startling 20% to 25% of the body’s overall energy, mainly in the form of glucose.
This glucose-guzzling habit actually makes the brain the most energy-expensive organ in the body, and yet it makes up only 2% of the body’s weight, overall.
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Stimulating The Growth Of New Brain Cells
As the brain ages, our ability to learn and remember gradually declines. It’s thought that these changes in memory occur as a result of decreased neurogenesis that stem cells in regions such as the dentate gyrus, in the hippocampus, lose their ability to produce new neurons. The hippocampus is known to shrink with age.
But it’s not all bad news these changes aren’t necessarily permanent. “While you can get shrinkage in hippocampus, there is certainly evidence now that you could change that reverse that shrinkage and reverse any loss of learning in memory by stimulating both the production of these new nerve cells, but also stimulating greater connectivity within the hippocampus,” says Professor Perry Bartlett.
He and Dr Daniel Blackmore have found in mice that exercise is able to increase production of new brain cells and improve learning and memory in the ageing brain. They are now heading up a clinical trial monitoring 300 people aged 65 and older to identify the right amount, intensity and type of exercise that leads to cognitive improvement.
Ultimately, we would hope to have clear public health guidelines as to how exercise can both prevent and reverse dementia,” says Professor Bartlett.
Does Marijuana Kill Brain Cells How Weed Affects Cognition
- Does Marijuana Kill Brain Cells? How Weed Affects Cognition
What are the side effects that come to mind when you think of marijuana use? Most likely giggling, slowed speech and movements, and a sudden craving for snacks. This bumbling stereotype might lead you to believe that marijuana makes you dumber, but the scientific consensus seems to be that marijuana does not kill brain cells. This doesnt mean that marijuana is harmless, however.
While weed doesnt directly result in the death of the neurons the way that stress, head trauma, or other types of substances can, it can still go on to cause significantand long-lastingdamage. This brain damage can lead to permanent side effects such as impaired memory, mental illness, and in the case of adolescents and their still-developing brains, a lower IQ.
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Sleep Deprivation Kills Brains Cells Shrinks Organ In Size: Rest Up And Stay Smart
Sleep is one of those bodily functions we tend to take for granted, like blinking or breathing. We do it habitually, and often without thinking, but the cost of actively denying ourselves those precious hours of shuteye can be enormous. Our brains and bodies feel depleted, and its no accident.
Recent research is slippery when it comes to the recommended number of hours you should be sleeping each night. For years, the number was eight. You were supposed to be spending a third of your life unconscious and dreaming. Then a band of bleary-eyed scientists decided eight was one hour too many, so the count got reduced to seven. If you miss one or two, youll feel groggy at worst. But what if you miss all seven? What state does that leave your brain in?
Not a great one, unfortunately. The best evidence suggests sleep serves a couple key roles, namely in memory consolidation and muscle repair. When you sleep, your brain flushes away all the unused and miscellaneous information strewn inside the tissues, and it keeps the good stuff. Theres no need to remember each email you deleted that day or what the license plate number was of the car ahead of you in traffic, so your brain lets that info go. A days demands also leave your body tired, which sleep helps offset by replenishing hormones and repairing muscles.
Why Do We Need Sleep?
Alcohol And Brain Damage
While actual neural death might not be caused by alcohol, alcohol abuse can and does lead to brain damage. Long-term alcohol abuse can lead to a deficiency in an important B-vitamin called thiamine. This deficiency can cause Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, a serious neurological disorder linked to alcohol use that does result in the loss of neurons in the brain. The syndrome is characterized by memory problems, amnesia, and lack of muscle coordination. In this case, it is important to note that the loss of neurons is caused by the thiamine deficiency, not by the actual alcohol use.
Obviously, this does not mean that people should ignore the potential dangers of alcohol. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism notes that a number of factors can influence exactly how alcohol impacts the brain, including how much and how often a person drinks, how long the individual has been drinking, prenatal exposure to alcohol, and the overall state of a person’s health.
Something else to consider: While alcohol might not actually “kill” brain cells, research does suggest that high levels of alcohol can interfere with neurogenesis or the formation of new brain cells. Until fairly recently, many experts believed that adults were not able to grow new neurons in the brain. That myth has since been dispelled, and brain experts now recognize that specific regions of the brain continue to form new cells even well into old age.
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New Neurons For Smell
Theres a second area besides the hippocampus that produces new neurons. This region is called the subventricular zone, and in most mammals the neurons born there migrate to the olfactory system. Thats rightof the two sole brain areas capable of creating new neurons, one area dispatches its precious new neurons not to help with thinking or learning or decision-making, but with sensing smell!
Side view of a rodent brain showing new neurons being produced in the subventricular zone and migrating via the rostral migratory stream to the olfactory bulb , where they rejuvenate the olfactory system.
Now I like smelling stuff as much as the next person , but to me this seems like a waste. I mean, how come the olfactory system needs new neurons when the rest of our brain, some of which does way more complicated stuff, gets by just fine with the neurons it started with?
Scientists still havent figured out why the olfactory system is so needy. But they recently discovered that we humans actually dont have new neurons in our olfactory systems, making us fairly unique among our mammalian comrades such as rodents and monkeys.6 This might be because we rely less on our sense of smell than other mammals, so we dont need to keep rejuvenating our underused olfactory system.
What Is The Human Brain Capable Of
The human brain is capable of creating more ideas equivalent to that of the atoms of the universe. The human brain is made up of more than 10 billion nerve cells and over 50 billion other cells and weighs less than three pounds. The human brain is very soft like butter. The Human brain stops growing at the age of 18.
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A Case Of Shrunken Brains: How Covid
Comparing brain volume before and after individuals were exposed to SARS-CoV-2, this study documents … significant cortical gray matter loss, equivalent to nearly 10 years of aging.
Thanks to a new study from the UK we are now beginning to uncover the effects of SARS-CoV-2 infections in the brain. Comparing brain volume before and after individuals were exposed to SARS-CoV-2, this study documents significant cortical gray matter loss, equivalent to nearly 10 years of aging. Gweanaelle Douaud, the studys first author and Professor at the University of Oxford, says that infected individuals display structural differences over time above and beyond any potential baseline differences. Most strikingly, individuals that experienced no or only mild symptoms with Covid-19 displayed specifically significant changes, but cortical damage seems to occur regardless of disease severity, age, or sex. The effect of vaccination status not yet been investigated. It may be years before the long-term consequences of these structural differences are fully understood.
From: A review on the neural bases of episodic odor memory: From laboratory-based to autobiographical approaches Saive et al. 2014.BruceBlaus, Wikipedia Commons
Figure 3:Reference locations for amygdala, anterior cingulate cortex, and insula.
Apollo Medicine 2020
Typical Habits That Kill Neurons
One of the most complex structures in existence is the human brain, but it is also relatively weak.
A wide range of situations can disturb the balance you need to remain in good health and, in particular, are significantly impaired by unhealthy behaviors that kill our neurons.
The well-being of neurons is also conditioned in the same way that our nerve cells intervene in thousands of processes that affect our lives, what we do and the habits we follow. And, because there are so many in our brain, we often dont know that were leaving so many on the way, little by little, more than would be usual for our generation.
That is why it is important to consider these behaviors that kill neurons if we want to remain in good health today and in the future.
This list of habits and customs that harm our brains health includes acts and states that wear down our mental capacities by omission or commission, some of them in the short term and regardless of the lasting harm they cause. Lets find out what they are.
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New Neurons In The Hippocampus
There are a couple exceptions, though. The main exception is in the hippocampus, the part of the brain thats super important for learning and memory. Your hippocampus actually does create new brain cells during adulthoodabout 1400 neurons per day.2 Scientists first noticed this in the 1960s, but the idea that the adult brain could make new neurons was controversial for decades and wasnt widely accepted until the 1990s.
So now that we finally all agree that the brain can make new neurons, are those new neurons actually good for anything?
Some studies have suggested that newly born neurons in the hippocampus play an important role in certain types of learning and memory.3 New neurons may also regulate emotional processes such as anxiety and depression.4 In fact, many antidepressants stimulate neurogenesis in the hippocampus, and the birth of new neurons is critical for the antidepressant effects of these drugs.
Adult neurogenesis in the hippocampus
1400 new neurons per day is nothing to sneeze at, but its a minuscule number compared to the billions of cells our brains already have. Why is this handful of new neurons so important for our brain function?
What Research Tells Us About The Birth Of New Brain Cells
The above research is considered important as is suggests that there are factors that can stimulate and inhibit the process of adult neurogenesis. It even hints at possible models for treating degenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, and even reversing damage caused by traumatic brain injury.
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