Blog archive

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 […]