Thursday, May 10, 2012

Maintain Your Brain: PLASTICITY

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Plasticity, specifically neuroplasticity, has to do with the brain's:

1) Ability to expand its capacity and capabilities;

2) The ability of neurons to continue to grow and adapt to environmental changes, both within us and outside of our physical bodies but perceivable to our senses, both acknowledged and being discovered;

3) The ability of one neuron to assume the responsibilities and functions of another neuron, should that second neuron be either damaged or otherwise compromised by an increased workload.

4) The longevity of a neuron's life and functioning;

5) The ability (in terms of speed and accuracy) of one neuron to signal or connect with its neighbor intersynaptically.

Frankly, increased or enhanced neuroplasticity are highly desirable in terms of both brain functioning and anti-aging (i.e., maintaining a positive, youthful state.

The following article excerpt appears courtesy of BigThink's Weekly Newsletter, which is an excellent source of information and interesting future-oriented commentary. It is thought-provoking...and thought-provoking means brain-strengthening. When you have finished reading the piece, please click back to this article for some interesting thoughts and conclusions... We'll see you when you return.
For a Healthy Brain, Play the Long Game
Orion Jones
What's the Latest Development? Psychologists are learning that the brain stays agile well into middle age, retaining the ability to learn new ... Read >>


For your information, each of the following helps, or may possibly be helpful in increasing the brain's plasticity. Neither this blog nor I am offering medical, health, psychiatric, or any other type of advice...we merely offer you Braintenancers some suggestions, some science, some anecdotal items of interest, and other fun things to ponder -- and perhaps, with your healthcare provider's approval, some things to try.

1) Small amounts of Lithium have been associated with brain longevity, neural regeneration and plasticity in general. This only applies to small amounts of lithium, which in larger doses is highly poisonous;

2) Small amounts of certain other nutritional supplements such as DMEA, Huperzine A, Vinpocetine, and L-AcetylCarnitine have been said to increase neuronal plasticity;

3) All mind exercises [Braintenance] from anagrams and analogies to meditation and mathematical problem-solving have been shown to increase neuronal plasticity;

4) Physical exercise, especially cardiovascular exercises (at least 20 minutes daily) have been shown to increase both neuronal plasticity and heart health, as well as to eliminate some of the symptoms of situational or temporary depression.

It's time for us to get mobilized, get exercised and to get plasticized.

Douglas E. Castle for The Braintenance Blog

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