Students of the human brain, scientists in recent years have found a certain number of unexpected aspects that determine the effect of the brain on the overall health of our body. However, some aspects of our behavior influence our brain. Furthermore, according to the modern point of view, which was formed relatively recently, the human brain does not stop its formation in adolescence.
Previously it was thought that the brain, starting with a fairly young age (adolescence), is subject to the inexorable process of aging, which reaches its peak in old age. However, it is now known that the human brain has the ability to change, to recover, and even heal, and this ability is truly unlimited! It turns out that not only age affects our brain, but how we use the brain throughout life.
Indeed, some activity requiring enhanced brain function, capable of re to "reset" the so-called basal nucleus (complex subcortical neurons Belov substances), which in turn triggers the so-called mechanism of brain neuroplasticity. In other words, neuroplasticity - the ability to control this brain state, maintaining its performance
While the brain functionality of several deteriorates naturally with the aging of the body (but not as critical as previously thought), some strategic approaches and techniques allow you to create new neural pathways, and even improve the performance of the old ways, and, throughout a person's life . And what is even more surprising is that such efforts to "reset" the brain have long-term positive effect on overall health. How did this happen? Our thoughts can influence our genes!
We tend to think that our so-called genetic heritage, that is, a kind of genetic baggage of our body, this matter is immutable. In our opinion, the parents gave us all the genetic material that once inherited themselves - genes baldness, height, weight, disease and so on - and now we manage only to have received. But in fact, our genes are open to influence throughout our lives, and, they affect not only our actions but also our thoughts, feelings, faith.
You must have heard that the genetic material can be influenced by changes in diet, lifestyle, physical activity and so on. So it is now seriously studying the possibility of the same epigenetic effect caused by the thoughts, feelings and faith.
As shown by numerous studies have, chemicals which affect our mental activity, capable of reacting with our genetic material, causing a powerful effect. In many processes in the body can be affected in the same manner as a change of diet, lifestyle, environment. Our thoughts can literally turn off and turn on the activity of certain genes.
What do research?
PhD and researcher Dawson Church (Dawson Church) spoke about the cooperation that have thought and belief of the patient for expression of disease-related genes and healing.
"The body reads in our brains - says Church. - Science has shown that we can have only a certain fixed set of genes in our chromosomes. However, some of these genes affect our subjective perception and for the various processes is of great importance. »
As a result, one of the studies conducted at the University of Ohio (Ohio University), has been clearly demonstrated the effect of mental stress on the healing process. Scientists have conducted it among couples: the experience of each participant on the skin left little damage, leading to the emergence of small blister. Then different pairs offered for half an hour or talk on a neutral topic, or bet on any particular topic.
Then, for several weeks, three scientists to determine the level of certain proteins in the body which influence the rate of wound healing. It turned out that the disputants, who used the most stinging and harsh notes, and the level of these proteins and the healing rates were 40 percent lower than that of those who spoke on the topic neutral in their disputes.
Church explains it this way: our body sends a signal in the form of a protein that activates certain genes associated with wound healing. The proteins activate genes that using stem cells that generate new skin cells to heal wounds.
However, when the body's energy is depleted so that is spent on the production of stress agents such as cortisol, adrenaline and noradrenaline - a signal that is delivered to your genes healing wounds, is considerably weakened. The recovery process lasts much longer. At the same time, if the human body is not adjusted to combat any external threat, its energy resources remain intact and ready to perform missions for lifestyle.
Why it is important to us?
There is no doubt that the body of virtually any person from birth completed by the genetic material necessary for optimal functioning in the conditions of daily physical activity. However, our ability to maintain the so-called mental balance has a huge impact on our body's ability to use its resources. And even if you are full of aggressive thoughts, certain activities (such as meditation) helps configure your neural pathways to support less reactive actions.
Chronic stress is able to prematurely wear out your brain
"We are constantly beset stresses in our environment - says Howard Villach (Howard Fillit), PhD, professor of geriatric medicine at the School of Medicine Mount Sinai Hospital, New York, and a fund manager in charge of the search for new drugs against Alzheimer's disease. - However, the greatest harm caused by the mental stress that we feel within ourselves, in response to an external stress »
Such a distinction stress indicates a constant response of the whole organism in response to constant external stress. This response affects our brain, resulting in impaired memory and other aspects of mental activity. Thus, stress is a risk factor in the development of Alzheimer's disease, as well as speeds up the deterioration of memory in aging humans. At the same time, you can even start to feel a lot older, so to speak, mentally, than you really are.
Research carried out by specialists, University of California (University of California) San Francisco showed that a constant reaction to stress (and constant bursts of cortisol) can lead to a reduction of the hippocampus - the most important part of the limbic system of the brain, responsible both for regulating the effects of stress, so and long-term memory. It is also a manifestation of neuroplasticity - but negative
Like other forms of relaxation, meditation and complete renunciation of all thoughts are not only able to quickly put in order thoughts (and, accordingly, a biochemical stress levels along with gene expression), but even change the structure of the brain itself!
"Stimulating the brain areas that control positive emotions, can strengthen neural connections in the same way as physical exercises strengthen the muscles", - says Hanson is one of the main principles of neuroplasticity. However, the opposite is true: "If you think regularly about the things that torment you, and maddening, you increase the sensitivity of the amygdala, which is primarily responsible for the negative experiences»
Hanson explained that in this way we make our brains more receptive, and this leads to the fact that we are easily upset because of trifles in the future.
At the same time, the practice of meditation to stimulate the anterior cingulate cortex, that is the most distant from the center of the brain layer that is responsible for the account (this is meditation improves attention). Similarly, meditation affects the so-called island - the central part of the brain responsible for interoception (the process of perception of the central nervous system excitation in the internal organs)
"Using the brain in unison with the body through interoception protects our body from damage at the time of physical exercise - says Hanson. - Also it helps to feel comfortable and easy feeling that your body is all right. " Another plus healthy "island" is that you thereby improve your instincts, intuition and empathy - the ability to empathize »
Each year of life in old age is able to add our mind
For a long time it was thought that the closer to the average age of the human brain, the once young and flexible, gradually begins to take positions. However, recent studies have shown that the average age of the brain is able to begin to exercise its peak activity. Studies show that even though the bad habits, these years are the most favorable for the active work of the brain. That's when we make the most informed decisions, looking back on the experience.
Scientists who studied the human brain, always convinced us that a major cause of brain aging is the loss of neurons - the death of brain cells. However, brain scans using the new technology showed that a large part of the brain supports the same number of active neurons throughout life. Even assuming that some aspects of aging and the true cause memory impairment, reactions and so on, there is a constant replenishment "stocks" neurons. But due to what?
Scientists call this process "bilateralizatsiey brain", at which the simultaneous use of both right and left hemispheres of the brain. In the 1990s in Canada, University of Toronto (University of Toronto), through the development of a brain scan technology, it was possible to visualize and compare how the brain works of young and middle-aged people in the solution of the following tasks on the care and storage:
it was necessary to quickly remember people's names in different pictures, then try to remember someone's name.
Scientists expect that the participants in the study, middle-aged worse than cope with the task, but the results of experiments for both age groups were similar. But more surprising was: a positron emission tomography demonstrated that neural connections in the young people active in certain parts of the brain, and in older people, in addition to the activity in the same area showed itself and part of the prefrontal cortex
Canadian scientists, based on the results of many other experiments, came to the following conclusion: biological neural network of the brain of middle-aged people could give up the slack in a certain area, but immediately connected to each part of the brain to compensate for "shortage". Thus, the aging process causes the people in middle age and older just use their brains more. Moreover, there is increased biological neural networks in other areas of the brain.
Our brain is wired in such a way that it is able to cope with the circumstances (to counter them), being flexible. The better monitor his health, the better he copes.
The researchers offer a range of activities, allowing as much as possible to maintain brain health for longer:
solution of complex problems,
constant study of something, and so on.
Moreover, it works at any age.