The chemical that plays a role in neuroplasticity

The neurotrophin BDNF is a type of protein that helps with the brain cells' growth and survival.

In order to boost its production, a diet with consistent omega-3 fatty acids and flavonoids are great boosters. Moreover, anti-inflammatory spices such as turmeric, rosemary, and ginger are important as well.

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Neurogenesis vs Neuroplasticity
  • Neurogenesis - is the process of which new neurons/brain cells grow in the brain;
  • Neuroplasticity - refers to the existing neurons and the new neurons grow and form different connections with each other. It shapes who we are.
How new brain cells are grown

Neurogenesis happens in two parts of the brain: the hippocampus and the olfactory bulb. The former is responsible for emotional health and memory function while the latter is associated with smell.

In order to stay mentally sharp and emotionally balanced, we need to develop habits that promote neurogenesis: having a healthy diet, getting consistently good sleep, and regular exercise. Your diet needs to consist of omega-3 fatty acids, phytonutrients, B vitamins, zinc, and magnesium.

Brain cells get destroyed when we experience high levels of chronic inflammation. This mainly happens due to chronic stress, unhealthy eating habits (eating too much processed sugar, meat, and refined carbs), and not getting enough rest.

When we have an inflamed brain, it leads to brain fog, anxiety, depression, and low energy; and in the long run, it may cause cognitive decline and other diseases.

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Stages of Early Brain Development

Brain development happens at different rates for different parts of the brain but here are the major trends in the construction that takes place:

  • In the womb: folding of the brain's outer layer
  • Newborn - childhood: the brain grows gradually and continues to develop white matter pathways and maturity of movement and sensation
  • Adolescence: gray matter thins out; synapses scale back, and susceptibility to outside influence heightens
  • Early adulthood: the prefrontal cortex is still developing.

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Patients with severe brain damage are able to rapidly heal themselves, practically remodelling the brain a few days or weeks after the trauma.

What’s weird is that a brain injury is a great time to take advantage of the rapid reorganization, recovery and other significant changes that a brain can perform on itself. During stroke recovery, learning something new or even re-learning something can result in significant gains.

Lifestyle choices influence how you age

Adopting specific lifestyle behaviors can have a tangible effect on how well you age: activities like learning a new language, playing a musical instrument, taking part in aerobic exercise, and developing meaningful social relationships, can do wonders for your brain. 

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