A BEAUTIFUL MIND

Our mind and brains are big help to our own body. We think a lot of things from work to simple jokes and so on and so forth.According to Wikipedia a mind collectively refers to the aspects of intellect and consciousness manifested as combinations of thought, perception, memory, emotion, will and imagination; mind is the stream of consciousness. It includes all of the brain’s conscious processes. It comes hand in hand with your brain, whatever is in your mind and you want to do it, it will process it. A powerful tool of our body.

A beautiful mind

What are you thinking right now?your future, your work, your family. Thinking too much would stress your mind but using it properly will give you good results. Human brain controls the central nervous system (CNS), by way of the cranial nerves and spinal cord, the peripheral nervous system (PNS) and regulates virtually all human activity (according to wikipedia). I’m not good in sciences but I do understand a bit, well some of our medical friends out there knows what I’m talking about. A brain check up and medicine is too expensive unless you have a health card. Sometimes we forgot things we come to a point that we are getting older or we need a vitamins like memory plus. I’ve been to one of our modern hospitals that especializes with brains, Cardinal Santos Hospital in San Juan Greenhills. The place is beautiful with all doctors that are very good at the same time with beautiful nurses, of course the price is high, you need a reservation fee just to be an in patient. How about poor people who dont have money can they afford to be hospitalized or even experienced to have a check up. You want a good life, you need to work for it but here in our country even if you work like a carabao (National animal that symbolizes working hard) you cannot eat or do what rich people can, you cant blame Filipinos going abroad.

I’ve read this article from Philippine Star it gave me an understanding about brains Staying mentally sharp: How to avoid brain drain
AN APPLE A DAY By Tyrone M. Reyes, M.D.

brain drain

Do you find yourself searching for your key, struggling to recall a name, or realizing that the word you’re looking for just won’t get any further than the tip of your tongue? Relax. As long as your forgetfulness doesn’t jump from “Where did I leave my glasses?” to “I have no memory at all of having put my glasses there,” you’re probably just experiencing some normal, age-related memory loss — nothing as serious as Alzheimer’s disease. Even so, there are constructive steps you can take to counteract this slippage, steps that are based on dollops of new science leavened with some use-it-or-lose-it common sense. At the same time, it is important to recognize that much more is unknown than known about how the human brain works. So, what’s the best advice you can heed about memory loss? Don’t get alarmed at slight changes in memory — everyone has them. Up until about 10 years ago, brain researchers equated age-related memory loss with brain cell death. Thanks to better imaging techniques such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), they discovered that aging itself does not cause significant loss of neurons in the hippocampus, a part of the brain involved in storing and retrieving memories. What’s more, research has shown that new neurons may even be added to the hippocampus in adulthood — driving a stake through the old belief that adults can’t grow new brain cells anymore. Now, studies suggest that the main, aging-related loss of neurons probably occurs in areas of the brain that produce chemicals that function as chatty go-betweens, facilitating communication and coordination between the different parts of the brain. These chemicals are what allow you to make association between, say, the image of your backyard and the smell of freshly cut grass. Age-related memory loss has also been linked to damage to NMDA receptors, molecular subunits of brain cells that are critical to cell-to-cell interaction. These new findings may mean, first, that memory loss isn’t an inevitable, anatomical withering away and, second, that it is worth striving to keep your brain cells busy, making new connections and preserving old ones, and doing what you can to guard them against damage and deterioration. A variety of things, such as keeping your mind active throughout your life, controlling stress, and remaining physically fit, will help you do just that. While the jury’s still out on whether supplements such as ginkgo biloba can enhance memory, by taking care of yourself — body and mind — you can perhaps keep your memory at its best.

Mental Activity

• Education and intelligence. Many epidemiologic studies have associated higher levels of education and intelligence with lower rates of dementia, a general loss of intellectual function and not just memory. This relationship has been explained by brain-reserve capacity, loosely defined as the number of connections between neurons. The theory — and it is just a theory — is that the neurons of the intelligent and educated brain have more connections than a less intelligent, less educated brain. The dementia rates may reflect the fact that people with a larger brain-reserve capacity can perhaps afford to lose more neuronal connections before the loss shows up as a noticeable brain deficit like dementia.

• Mental exercises. One way to engage your mind is to explicitly exercise it in the same way that people who go to the gym exercise their bodies. No, there isn’t solid proof that these mental calisthenics work, but it is a plausible strategy. In the Harvard Medical School Guide to Achieving Optimal Memory, Aaron Nelson, MD (McGraw-Hill, 2005) presents a program that is used at Harvard Medical School. A widely held theory supports the program. First, memories are best created and then strengthened when information is processed as an association that involves all senses. When you meet a new person, for example, you are more likely to remember his/her name if you not only focus on how the person looks, but also repeat the name aloud, and note how the handshake feels and what his/her voice sounds like. Second, the activity of the brain intensifies when it is asked to process new information or attacks a routine task in a novel way. Making a new friend, cooking from a new recipe, or taking a new route to the supermarket are examples of how you might consciously give your brain fresh material to work on.

Be Kind To Your Mind

• Stress. For years, researchers have been compiling evidence from animal studies about the negative effect that stress can have on the brain. A small study in Nature Neuroscience suggests how stress might operate on human memory. The five-year study involved yearly measurements of cortisol in 11 people in their 70s. Cortisol is a hormone released by the adrenal glands when people are put under stress. At the end of the experiments, the researchers tested the subjects’ ability to perform time-limited memory tasks by recalling a series of images immediately and then 24 hours later. To test the subjects’ spatial memories, the researchers guided them through simple and complex mazes, and then had them find their way on their own. Higher cortisol values were associated with worse performance on both the 24-hour delayed recall and the maze tests.

• Sleep. Remembrances can have a dream-like quality and dreams can certainly dredge up long-buried thoughts, but sleep in general also seems to play a big part in maintaining the brain’s workaday memory functions. Harvard Medical School researcher Robert Stickgold conducted a series of studies elucidating the connection between memory and sleep. In one experiment, he showed that Harvard undergrads who learn a simple computer game score higher after a full night’s sleep. Stickgold has also done a number of studies showing how both learning and memory are affected by different stages of sleep and, in turn, how that might relate to how memory is processed and stored. Because older people tend to have more sleep problems than younger people, it follows that some of the memory loss attributed to old age might actually be related to bad sleep.

Body And Mind

• Exercise. Memory preservation may be yet another reason to stay physically active. Granted it was only a mouse study, but in a provocative paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, Fred Gage and other researchers at Salk Institute showed how exercise might actually affect brain cells. They divided 34 female mice into two groups: Half of the mice were housed in a standard cage and the other half in a cage in which they had free access to a running wheel. When the mice were tested in a maze 30 days later, the mice with access to the running wheel performed significantly better than the other mice. When the researchers examined the brain of the mice, they found that the runners’ brains contained more newly formed neurons than those of the non-runners. The runners’ neurons also showed signs of long-term potentiation, a strengthening of neural connections related to learning and long-term memory.

• Hypertension. Several studies have shown an association between hypertension and memory loss. The Honolulu Heart Program Study is a famous study that tracked the health of 8,000 Japanese-American middle-aged men in Hawaii as they got older. Results from the study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), showed a link between having high systolic blood pressure (the higher number in the blood pressure reading) in middle age and cognitive deficits 25 years later. The Framingham Heart Study in Massachusetts came up with a similar hypertension-cognitive deficit connection. Persistent high blood pressure is believed to damage the small blood vessels in the brain, which could affect cognitive function.

The Memory Pill

For many years, a pill that improves memory has been an alluring goal for many doctors and scientists. Recent advances in understanding the brain chemicals that actually are the storehouse of memory have led to the development of several drugs that are currently being tested. Ginkgo biloba, the herbal extract, is being sold as a memory enhancer. A study published several years ago in JAMA showed some beneficial effects from ginkgo in patients with moderate dementia from Alzheimer’s or stroke. And assorted other studies have also come up with some positive results. Others showed negative results. Put it all together, however, and it adds up only to something more than bunk but less than proof.

We still don’t have a magic bullet to preserve and boost the memory. Your best bet today is to stay healthy, get a good education, do mental calisthenics, avoid stress, have a good night’s sleep, avoid or treat hypertension, and do regular physical exercises.

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