Alzheimer’s And White Matter
Some research using imaging studies has found abnormalities in people’s white matter prior to the development of Alzheimer’s disease symptoms.
Research has also demonstrated the presence of white matter lesions prior to mild cognitive impairment, a condition that carries an increased risk for Alzheimer’s disease.
The Cerebellum Contains Most Of The Brains Neurons
The cerebellum is that little mini-brain at the bottom. Even though the cerebellum makes up less than 10% of the brains total volume, its home to the majority of the brains neurons, with estimates suggesting that as much as 50% of the brains total 100 billion neurons are found in this region.
This is largely due to the structure of the cerebellum, which is filled with a great number of tiny granule cells and is more tightly wrinkled than many other areas of the brain.
Preliminary Material: Neurological Development Of The Human Fetus
The development of the brain in the human fetus is extraordinarily complex and is still not fully understood. Neural matter originates in the outer, ectodermic layer of the gastrula thus, it originates from the cell layer primarily responsible for skin, hair, nails, etc., rather than from the layers that develop into other internal organs. The nervous system originates as a tiny, simple open tube called the neural tube the front of this tube develops into the brain , while the spinal cord develops from the very back end.
Neurons begin to form early, but most of them become structural rather than active nerve cells. The brain generally forms from the inside-out, especially in the case of the neocortex. The difficulties arising from this are readily apparent, as each successive layer of cells must travel through the previous layer to reach its destination. Therefore, nervous tissue develops ladders made of radial glial cells that neurons climb, through the previous layers, to reach their proper destination. Some destinations, such as the cerebral cortex, even have “placeholder” neurons that travel up the ladder to form a structure when the final neurons germinate, they find a correct placeholder and then the placeholder cell dies.
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What Is The Function Of White Matter Related To Memory
Long thought to be passive tissue, white matter affects learning and brain functions, modulating the distribution of action potentials, acting as a relay and coordinating communication between different brain regions. White matter is named for its relatively light appearance resulting from the lipid content of myelin.
Ui Registry Is A Unique Resource For Neuroscientists
Importantly, the new findings were based on data from over 500 individual patients, which is a large number compared to previous studies and suggests the findings are robust. The data came from two registries one from Washington University in St. Louis, which provided data from 102 patients, and the Iowa Neurological Registry based at the UI, which provided data from 402 patients. The Iowa registry is over 40 years old and is one of the best characterized patient registries in the world, with close to 1000 subjects with well characterized cognition derived from hours of paper and pencil neuropsychological tests, and detailed brain imaging to map brain lesions. The registry is directed by Daniel Tranel, PhD, UI professor of neurology, and one of the study authors.
Reber notes that the study also illustrates the value of working with clinical patients as well as healthy individuals in terms of understanding relationships between brain structure and function.
I cannot stress enough how grateful we are that these patients have volunteered their time to help us without them, a lot of important research would be impossible, he adds.
In addition to Reber, Boes, and Tranel, the research team included UI researchers Kai Hwang, PhD, Mark Bowren, and Joel Bruss, as well as Pratik Mukherjee, MD, PhD, at the University of California, San Francisco.
University of IowaRoy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine451 Newton Road
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Improve Your Brain With Meditation And Exercise
Meditation has also been shown to improve white matter. Research participants who practiced mindfulness meditation were shown to have improved white matter in as little as 2-4 weeks!
- Improving Grey Matter: Much more research has been conducted on grey matter over white matter. Just like with white matter, exercise, specifically cardio exercise, improved their brain health especially when it came to memory. Learning a second language was found to be effective in combating grey matter decline as a result of MS.
- Mindfulness meditation practice has been found to significantly alter the structure of the brain. MRI images of participants who had completed 8 weeks of 27-minute daily meditation practice revealed: increased gray-matter density in the hippocampus, known to be important for learning and memory, and in structures associated with self-awareness, compassion, and introspection.
The brain may still be a mystery but more and more studies are released every year that shed more light on white and grey matter, and how they impact the way we think, move, and feel. While there is still lots to learn, its clear that exercise and meditation have a profound impact on your brains health, as if you needed another reason to take care of yourself!
Playing Action Video Games Increases Grey Matter Volume
Playing video game is a big controversy . Researchers observed playing certain types of action video games has its effect on gray matter volume . They found that playing action video games for 2 months for at least 30 min per day can significantly increase gray matter volume . AVG playing requires a high level of attention and hand-eye coordination. Scientists found that games that have complex 3D settings, feature quick-moving targets that appear in and out of the gamers view, involve large amounts of clutter and which require the gamers to make fast and accurate decision as well as switch between varying levels of and attention, can have positive impact on cognition. Exploring virtual environments help people to learn, remember, and even explore real-world environments. Video games could be therapeutically useful for patients with mental disorders in which brain regions are altered or reduced in size.
Scientists have demonstrated that with age brain structure can be altered upon prolonged exposure to novel environments and experience. The neural pathways and synapses can be changed by yoga, meditation, exercises, training and diets. This positive change can happen at the cellular level or at the level of cortical re-mapping.
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Gray Matter Volume And Cognitive Performance During Normal Aging A Voxel
- 1INSERM/CNRS, Institut Vision, Sorbonne University, Pierre and Marie Curie Universities Paris 06, Paris, France
- 2CNRS LPNC UMR 5105, University of Grenoble Alpes, Grenoble, France
- 3CNRS, Grenoble INP, GIPSA-lab, University of Grenoble Alpes, Grenoble, France
- 4UMS IRMaGe Grenoble Hospital, University of Grenoble Alpes, Grenoble, France
- 5Grenoble Institute of Neuroscience, University of Grenoble Alpes, Grenoble, France
Asymmetric Thinning Of The Left And Right Cerebral Hemispheres May Be Linked To Alzheimer’s
Last month, I reported on a peer-reviewed study published on February 1 in Nature Communications, which found that asymmetrical thinning of gray matter in the cerebral cortex’s left and right hemispheres is accelerated in Alzheimer’s disease patients. As James Roe and co-authors explain:
“Aging and Alzheimer’s disease are associated with progressive brain disorganization. Although structural asymmetry is an organizing feature of the cerebral cortex, it is unknown whether continuous age- and AD-related cortical degradation alters cortical asymmetry. Brain asymmetry seems to have arisen under evolutionary pressure to optimize processing efficiency and is broadly thought to confer organizational advantages that benefit brain function.
Here, we show that the asymmetric organization of higher-order cortical regions in young adulthood decays with advancing age. This decay follows a simple general organizing principle: the thicker of the two homotopic cortices thins faster. This principle was highly reproducible across different cohorts and was significantly accentuated in AD patients.”
“In my humble opinion, it’s worth noting that dysfunctions of the cerebellum are also linked to high gait variability and there is a well-established link between gray matter atrophy in the cerebellum and Alzheimer’s disease 01279-7″ rel=”nofollow”> Wegiel et al., 1999 Jacobs et al., 2017 Toniolo et al., 2018).”
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Can It Be Prevented
Age-related white matter disease is progressive, meaning it can get worse. But you can take steps to stop it from spreading. Scientists think you might even be able to repair the damage, if you catch it early.
Keep your blood pressure and blood sugar in check. That can lead to white matter changes. To keep your heart healthy, follow a low-fat, low-salt diet, and get about 2 and a half hours of moderate-intensity exercise each week. Manage diabetes if you have it and keep your cholesterol in check. If you smoke, stop now.
How Does Gray Matter Affect The Brain
Function The majority of the neuronal cell bodies in the brain are found in grey matter. Grey matter encompasses brain areas involved in muscle control and sensory perception, such as sight and hearing, memory, emotions, speech, decision-making, and self-regulation. These cells are in charge of muscular movement. They send information through nerve fibers to the spinal cord and then out to the muscles we use for walking, talking, and other tasks. Damage to these cells can lead to physical disability.
Structure Neurons are the main type of cell in the brain. Like all cells, they go through multiple phases of development during which time they divide and create other neurons. In adults, they remain relatively unchanged, but can be replaced over time by new neurons that migrate into certain regions of the brain where they connect with other neurons. This process is known as neurogenesis. Some studies have shown that this occurs primarily in two regions of the brain: the dentate gyrus and the subventricular zone. Neurogenesis may play a role in learning and memory processes since animals with reduced abilities for neurogenesis show impaired learning and memory functions.
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Humans Use Much More Than 10% Of Their Brains
Its unclear where this myth about the brain came from, but its certainly a pervasive one despite being almost entirely wrong. While there are certain times when only 10% of the brain is functioning , generally every part of your brain will be used at some point throughout the day.
So while all your brains circuits may not be firing at once at every moment of the day, over a 24-hour period youll use a full 100% of your brain to think, remember, and function.
Your Brain Doesnt Feel Pain
Despite your brain very loudly letting you know when youve stubbed your toe or sustained another kind of painful injury, the brain tissue itself doesnt contain pain receptors and thus cant feel pain. This unique feature makes it possible for brain surgery to be performed on individuals while theyre awake, as they cannot feel any cuts or manipulations made to the brain.
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Network Hubs And Brain Function
Research on cognition often focuses on networks within the brain, and how different network configurations contribute to different aspects of cognition. Various mathematical models have been developed to measure the connectedness of networks and to identify hubs, or highly connected brain regions, that appear to be important in coordinating processing in brain networks.
The UI team used these well accepted mathematical models to identify the location of hubs within both gray and white matter from brain imaging of normal healthy individuals. The researchers then used brain scans from patients with brain lesions to find cases where areas of damage coincided with hubs. Using data from multiple cognitive tests for those patients, they were also able to measure the effect hub damage had on cognitive outcomes. Surprisingly, damage to highly connected gray matter hubs did not have a strong association with poor cognitive outcomes. In contrast, damage to dense white matter hubs was strongly linked to impaired cognition.
Longitudinal Effects Of Pneumonia And Influenza
To investigate whether pneumonia might have had an impact on our longitudinal findings, we assessed the age-modulated effects associated with pneumonia in an out-of-sample UK Biobank cohort that had been scanned twice. We identified 11 participants who contracted pneumonia not related to COVID-19 between the two scans, matched these to 261 controls and applied our main analysis to these two groups. This longitudinal investigation showed some significant group differences in IDPs, but with no overlap with those IDPs that we found for SARS-CoV-2 . Overall, the correlation between the Z-statistics of all of the IDPs from pneumonia and SARS-CoV-2 longitudinal group comparisons was very low .
The sample size of cases who contracted influenza between the two scans in the out-of-sample UK Biobank cohort was unfortunately much smaller , likely due to the low probability of influenza being recorded by a medical professional . Nevertheless, for completeness, we also assessed longitudinally these two very small groups, compared with 127 matched controls. No result was significant for the 5 influenza cases, although a few IDPs showed significant longitudinal age-modulated effects, with just one IDP in the brainstem common to the SARS-CoV-2 findings . Correlation of Z-statistics between influenza and SARS-CoV-2 longitudinal group comparisons was again low .
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How Can You Improve Grey Matter In Your Brain
Do you suffer from a loss of memory, otherwise known as memory fog? Over lockdown especially, more people than ever have been experiencing symptoms of memory loss whether on a small scale from forgetting what day it is, to more serious symptoms that could be a sign of an underlying health problem which needs to be addressed with a Doctor.
Feeling stressed out every once in a while is completely normal, but if youve been feeling tired and lethargic for two consecutive weeks and are finding it hard to think clearly, you might need some additional support.
Weve put together some top tips on how you can boost your mood naturally to reduce stress and at the same time increase the grey matter in your brain.
Physical Activity Increases Grey Matter In The Brain
Along with the health benefits associated with physical exercise, working out is scientifically proven to increase the amount of grey matter in the brain. According to a study found in the Journal of Gerontology, aerobic exercise training increases brain volume in aging humans.
In fact, cardiovascular fitness is associated with enhancing the central nervous system. Particularly in older adults, exercise can help to improve the cognitive functioning of the human body and is a simple way to increase the amount of grey and white matter in the brain.
Try going up and down the stairs at home a few times today, or even a walk around the block during lunch. Additionally, you can try these free online exercise classes which you can do at home! Also, be sure to use our Harmoni desk to increase the grey matter in your brain. By opting to stand to work, you will be more active and therefore improve your brains cognitive function.
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How To Strengthen White Matter
For white matter disease specifically, there is not a cure but there are treatments that can be used to manage the experienced symptoms. Physical therapy is a common treatment that can help with any balance or walking difficulties someone may develop.
Similarly, managing vascular health could also be an effective way to manage symptoms of white matter disease. not smoking and regulating blood pressure may help to slow the progression of the disease.
To strengthen white matter, there is support for the use of physical exercise, especially aerobic and weight resistance training. Physical exercise has also been linked to decreasing the likelihood of developing conditions with cognitive decline, such as dementia and Alzheimerâs.
As evident from the previously discussed neuroimaging studies, learning a new skill appears to positively influence white matter. A suggestion to strengthen white matter could be to pick up a new skill, such as learning to play an instrument or learn a language.
Completing relaxation exercises such as meditation or mindfulness training have also been suggested to strengthen white matter functioning. Studies have found that completing two to four weeks of meditation practice was enough to observe differences in white matter.
Also, ensuring a helmet is worn when completing activities such as cycling also minimizes the risk of damage to the brain.
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Stress Kills Brain Cells
In a study conducted by researchers from the Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, researchers discovered that a single socially-stress event could kill new neurons in the brain’s hippocampus.
The hippocampus is one of the regions of the brain heavily associated with memory, emotion, and learning. It is also one of the two areas of the brain where neurogenesis, or the formation of new brain cells, occurs throughout life.
In experiments, the research team placed young rats in a cage with two older rats for a period of 20 minutes. The young rat was then subjected to aggression from the more mature residents of the cage. Later examination of the young rats found that they had cortisol levels up to six times higher than that of rats who had not experienced a stressful social encounter.
Further examination revealed that while the young rats placed under stress had generated the same number of new neurons as those who had not experienced the stress, there was a marked reduction in the number of nerve cells a week later.
While stress does not appear to influence the formation of new neurons, it does impact whether or not those cells survive.
So stress can kill brain cells, but is there anything that can be done to minimize the damaging impact of stress?
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