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How Physical Activity Improves Brain Health

We all know that physical activity is good for you. It helps prevent diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. You see people workout all the time to lower their blood pressure or to train for a marathon or 5k. However, many people are unaware that regular physical activity also improves your brain’s health.

Can We Predict Anorexia?

url-2 The size and shape of our brains may do exactly that.

The School of Medicine at the University of Colorado explored this, using MRIs on 19 adolescent females who had been diagnosed with anorexia nervosa, compared to 22 adolescent girls who had not.

The brain scans showed the females with anorexia “had larger left orbitofrontal, right insular, and bilateral temporal cortex gray matter.”

The orbitofrontal cortex tells the person when they’re full; it’s time to stop eating.

The insular is activated as we taste food; it’s related to the pleasantness of eating. Specifically, the […]

Hot Chocolate: Good for the Soul and Brain

Harvard’s recent study included 60 lucky participants drinking two cups of hot chocolate a day and seeing how it affected their cognitive skills. They found that those two delicious cups “could help sharpen cognitive skills and keep their brains healthy.”

How?

The drink leads to more blood flow to the brain, which plays an important role in cognitive diseases. This neurovascular coupling could lead to more research in treating diseases like Alzheimer’s.

However, the hot chocolate acts more like a treatment than an encouraged life change, meaning that people with an already healthy blood flow didn’t experience the positive changes than people with […]

High Fructose Corn Syrup Tricks Your Brain

Your brain works on nerve impulses that travel throughout your body. One of the important alerts comes from your stomach, which tells your brain it’s full. Without this process, we would just keep eating. That’s why it’s important to eat slowly; by slowing down, you won’t overeat by the time your brain figures out it’s full. However, studies are showing that high fructose corn syrup, or fructose in general, can hinder this trigger, allowing people to overeat.

High fructose corn syrup is 55% fructose and 45% glucose. While all types of sugar have the same number of calories, they body metabolizes […]

Can’t Recall? Maybe You’re Not Chunking Properly!

It’s no surprise that as we get older, our memory will not remain as good as it once was. But the question is…why? Does everyone develop at least a mild case of dementia? Does part of our brain deteriorate? Do we simply not have enough room for any more memories?

Heather Bailey, from Washington University in St. Louis, suggests that there is an atrophy in the medial temporal lobe in the brain. This atrophy leads to the inability to process everyday events.

For example, when you struggle to remember what you had for breakfast yesterday morning, you know it’s different from lunch […]

Spotted: Brain “Clean-Up Crew”

While most biological systems use the lymphatic system to remove waste, the central nervous system uses something called the glymphatic system, which “cleans the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) that surround the brain and spinal cord and relies on specialized CNS support cells known as glia.” Helene Benveniste at Stony Brook University used a fluorescent tracer in rats, and tracked it with an MRI scan. This study has identified “two key influx nodes” in the brain. The team was able to measure the rate at which the glymphatic system removed the fluorescent […]

MRIs Can Catch Prenatal Brain Abnormalities – Restoring Hope

Cerebral Ischemia, which is when the brain receives low blood flow, caused brain cells to die which affects brain function – or so we thought. The use of MRIs has shown that ischemia actually alters the maturation of the neurons; they don’t necessarily die. By catching this irregular blood flow early, measures can be taken to revive the damaged neurons. These measures can be as simply as improving nutrition. Doing this not only improves cortical development but also lowers the chance of a premature birth.

The study involved fetal lambs experiencing cerebral ischemia. An MRI exam was given 1, 2, and […]