Containing approximately hundred billion neurons, the human brain is the core of complexity in the human body. Several kinds of neurological disorders originate from habits developing overtime. Here are the top five habits that are hazardous to brain health: –
1. Sleep deprivation.
Quality sleep not only provides the brain with the required amount of rest but also allows the development of new synaptic connections between neurons, strengthening memory, focus and learning ability. When cells in brain regions associated with memory and cognitive function, such as the hippocampus, do not receive the rejuvenating impacts of sleep, an individual may suffer from cognitive losses such as trouble remembering, concentrating or focusing. Moreover, sleep deprivation results in a decline in electrical communication among the neurons, impairing functions such as reaction time, decision-making and short-term memory. Recent studies have revealed that a sleep-deprived brain has a higher risk of nerve cell degeneration.
Consider watching this video to know more about 5 ways to keep your brain healthy….
According to the researchers at the University of Oregon, excessive stress weakens function in the brain’s prefrontal cortex causing problematic symptoms such as difficulty thinking creatively, problem-solving or shifting attention. The body’s stress markers called glucocorticoids induce acute and chronic alterations in brain regions that can lead to long-term neurological deficits. Excessive cortisol in the bloodstream impairs the ability of the hippocampus to encode and store memories. According to studies conducted, both acute and chronic stress may disrupt synaptic transmission between brain cells, cause nerve cell damage and can even result in irreversible shrinking of the brain.
3. Unhealthy eating habits.
A diet comprised of refined sugar, processed carbohydrates and saturated fat sources is known to cause inflammation in the central nervous system, which is the leading cause of neurodegenerative diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s. Processed food is known to impair the blood-brain barrier, allowing entry of hazardous substances such as mercury into the brain. Skipping breakfast results in lower blood sugar levels and insufficient nutrients reaching the brain. Excessive sodium in one’s diet can raise blood pressure, increasing the risk of stroke and brain hemorrhage. Furthermore, according to a study conducted by the Spanish National Research Council, long-term alcohol consumption was found to diminish brain’s white matter, which in turn meant shortened attention span and difficulty learning.
Packed with more than five hundred hazardous chemicals, cigarette smoke was revealed to be a causative agent of early cognitive decline among middle-aged smokers, according to a recent study. Nicotine found in cigarette smoke mimics neurotransmitters in the brain, leading to the destruction of Acetylcholine receptors. This leads to the development of an autoimmune disease, myasthenia gravis, which is characterized by acetylcholine deficiency and muscle weakness. Additionally, a 2015 study concludes that smokers have a thirty percent higher risk of suffering from dementia. Smoking also results in a loss of brain volume particularly in subcortical regions. According to renowned neurologists, increased levels of tobacco lead to brain tumors and a greater risk of stroke.
5. Physical inactivity.
Aerobic exercises enhance blood supply to the brain and strengthen the vessels, preventing dementia caused by plaque formation in arteries. Physical activity boosts executive brain functioning and the ability to organize and interpret information. Neuroplasticity, the brain’s ability to alter as you learn, is also enhanced in active individuals. Staying inactive has been linked to a major decline in neurogenesis, the synthesis of new neurons from neural stem cells. Similarly, without regular exercise the release of stress hormones is not controlled well, leading to detrimental effects of chronic stress on the brain.
Shield your brain by avoiding these detrimental habits.
Until Next Time,
Team Doctor ASKY!