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Brain Growth

It's been thought that the neurons were already created before birth, but research indicates that the brain keeps growing until mid to late childhood, decreases through the early 20s, stabilizes for quite a while, and then begins to decrease further from age 40 onwards.

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Neuroplasticity
  • Also known as neural plasticity
  • This is the capacity of the brain to change in response to experience and the environment.
  • It changes the brain from updating the neuronal networks to the formation of new memories to larger structural adaptations.
  • The brain has a great amount of plasticity and it remains an essential quality of the brain throughout adulthood.

We might have this idea that our brains change the same way but scientists have observed that there is a considerable variation between individuals in terms of when and what to extent aspects of the brain change.

Individual differences in brain development can be related to psychological differences.

  1. Genes - are a major key factor in brain development due to their contribution to normal individual variation in brain development, and relatively rare genetic alterations.
  2. Environmental factors - Because having a safe and nurturing environment facilitates proper growth.
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.
Neurogenesis and Neuronal Development
  • Neurogenesis is the process by which new neurons are created. The bulk of this process happens during the prenatal period of brain development.
  • Synaptogenesis is the process of forming connections or synapses.
  • Synaptic pruning is the process where synapses that aren't used grow weaker and disappear.
  • Myelination is a key process in neuronal development that begins before birth
  • Many of us are heading towards burnout, but aren’t there yet. If we are overextended, disengaged and ineffective in our job roles, we are on the verge of burnout.
  • Avoiding true burnout is vital as work gets tougher, longer and harder to do for most people. People are scared to lose their jobs due to the pandemic, and corporates know how to squeeze maximum work out of them.
  • One needs to identify the workplaces with unmanageable workload and instead of booting out the employees who cannot stand the heat, the new argument is to turn down the heat itself.
Defining Burnout

The Maslach Burnout Inventory, developed by a professor of psychology at the University of California, tries to define burnout by fielding the following criteria: Fatigue, cynicism, negativity towards one’s life or job role, along with reduced job performance.

The results showed that burnout is relative, and how we define it depends on not one, but all the listed criteria.

Bacteria travel through moisture. Wet food like watermelon will pick up the most bacteria, while less sticky food like gummy candies picks up the least. Regarding the surface, carpet has a lower rate of bacteria transfer to food than other surfaces.

The risk of illness from eating food that has fallen on the floor will depend on factors such as prevalence, concentration and type of organism, moisture of the food, the nature of the surface, and the length of time the food was in contact with the surface.

The 5-second rule

The idea that food is safe to eat off the floor if you pick it up quickly is not accurate.

A study showed that in some cases, bacteria takes less than a second to transfer to food. The longer food was allowed to stay on a surface, the more bacteria was transferred to the food. The higher the moisture, the higher the risk of transfer.

  • A 2019 study showed that people who ate between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. had reduced hunger and increased fat burning after 4 days of starting IF.
  • A 2005 study indicated that alternate-day fasting leads to 2.5 percent body weight loss after 22 days.
  • A 2018 study showed that IF could potentially manage blood sugar and insulin levels.
  • A 2007 research review on IF showed possible protection from heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer, and Alzheimer's disease.
Intermittent fasting (IF)

Intermittent fasting (IF) became very popular back in 2013 with "The 8-hour diet" by David Zinczenko and Peter Moore. They claimed that eating your food within an 8-hour window would result in drastic weight loss.

Unlike other diets, IF is about limiting when you eat rather than what you eat.

  • Do your research. Intermittent fasting can be dangerous for people with low blood sugar.
  • Decide which type of intermittent fasting schedule you want to try. Currently, there are six popular fasting patterns. The most popular option is the 16/8 method, where you fast for 16 hours, then eat within an 8-hour period.
  • IF can be difficult at first. You may experience grumbling of your stomach, fatigue, irritability, and stress.
  • IF isn't recommended for people with a history of eating disorders, like anorexia or orthorexia.
  • IF my interfere with sleep patterns and alertness.
  • IF can increase stress, anxiety, and irritability.
  • Ensure that you get enough calories every day to fuel your body. IF can become dangerous if you don't get your recommended daily calorie intake.
  • Start with an adjusted schedule that's realistic for you, then add to the intensity and duration.
  • Stay hydrated with noncaloric fluids during your fasting periods, such as water, herbal teas, and calorie-free flavoured drinks.
  • During the eating period, aim to eat every 3 hours.
  • Plan nutritious meals ahead of time.
  • Eat nutrient-dense foods that are higher in fat, protein, and fibre.
  • Add 2 to 3 tbsp of healthy fat to your evening meal, like olive oil, coconut butter, or avocado, to keep your blood sugar levels stable.
  • Most people would think a hoarder would have clutter all around the house. The reality is that they have difficulties deciding on what to discard, and typically hoard their clothes, shoes, tools, household supplies, newspapers and mail.
  • Hoarding disorder impacts one’s marital life, increases medical illness, anxiety and depression, makes people suicide prone and even cognitively impaired. Not to mention the problems that arise from keeping things stored for long in the basement or cupboard.

Stockpiling is a comparatively normal behaviour coming as a result of an event or condition that can impact the availability of a particular item.

A person anticipates the shortage of something in the future, and reserves it in case it is needed later.

Apart from mental issues, hoarding increases the chances of:

  1. Risk of falls or tripping.
  2. Infestation.
  3. Unsafe living conditions.
  4. Fire.
  5. Lost work days.
Hoarding Isn’t About Stockpiling

Hoarding is a serious psychiatric disorder which has been witnessed by doctors for centuries, and is not some behavioural trait of otherwise normal people.

Symptoms of this disorder start from adolescence, and later become problematic.

Panic Buying is more of an impulsive, reaction which is usually temporary and is mainly the anxiety which is felt due to an impending future event or crisis.

It includes buying huge quantities of.. toilet paper too. It also involves going into ‘survival mode’ and scavenging during an ongoing crisis.

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