Huxleў
Author: Huxleў
© Huxleў — almanac about philosophy, business, art and science.
Science
5 minutes for reading

HOW TO ADD NEURONS INTO THE BRAIN

HOW TO ADD NEURONS INTO THE BRAIN
Share material
Арт-оформление: huxley.media via DALL·E 3

 

Neurophysiologists have found that the number of brain cells in humans is not constant throughout life. They wondered where new neurons come from in the hippocampus.

Then, they discovered a surprising fact: Regular exercise helps stimulate neurogenesis in the hippocampus. The hippocampus, a region of the brain that plays a crucial role in learning and memory processes, can increase the creation of new neurons in response to physical activity. This is due to increased levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which promotes neuronal growth and survival.

 

IMPROVE FUNCTIONAL BRAIN PLASTICITY

 

Physical activity not only supports overall brain health but also directly affects the brain’s structural and functional plasticity. This is closely related to motor intelligence research. The term «motor intelligence» was introduced back in the mid-20th century by American physical therapist Glenn Doman. He was the first to establish a connection between motor competence and mental development. His work was based on the idea that early and systematic stimulation of motor functions has a positive effect on cognitive functions.

Motor intelligence is a concept referring to a person’s ability to coordinate their movements effectively and learn new physical skills quickly. The term encompasses both fine motor skills, such as writing or playing musical instruments, as well as more complex ones, such as athletic activities or dancing. Motor intelligence includes not only physical coordination but also the ability to visualize movements and understand bodily cues.

Many interesting studies have been conducted on the topic of the effects of physical activity on cognitive function. In particular, an experiment conducted by Harvard Medical School showed that regular aerobic exercise improves memory and other cognitive functions by stimulating the hippocampus.

A study published in the journal Neurology indicated that older adults who exercise regularly are 50 percent less likely to suffer from cognitive decline. Older people who play tennis or badminton perform better on cognitive tests than their peers who are indifferent to physical activity.

Clearly, sports have a positive effect on motor skills, which are essential for mental, psychological, and emotional development. However, physical exercise has a positive impact not only on the areas of the brain responsible solely for motor functions but also on the areas responsible for all intellectual processes. They can change the brain for the better, increasing neuroplasticity not only in the short term but also in the long term.

 

REDUCE THE RISK OF DEMENTIA

 

By 2050, the number of people in the world with dementia could increase to 152 million. This is due to increasing life expectancy and aging populations in many countries.

Exercise has many benefits that can help reduce the risk of developing dementia. One of the key benefits of exercise is its ability to reduce insulin resistance.

Insulin resistance is a condition in which the body’s cells lose sensitivity to insulin, a hormone needed to regulate blood glucose levels. When cells become less sensitive to insulin, the pancreas begins to produce more of it to compensate for the reduced response, which can lead to pancreatic exhaustion and the development of type 2 diabetes. Insulin, in turn, plays an essential role in the brain, where it helps regulate glucose metabolism and is important for cognitive function.

Improving glucose metabolism is important because glucose is the main source of fuel for the brain, and its efficient utilization is vital for maintaining cognitive function.

People with insulin resistance have an increased risk of developing cognitive impairment and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease. Scientists believe that insulin resistance in the brain can lead to impaired neuronal energy metabolism and inflammation, which ultimately contributes to the accumulation of proteins associated with Alzheimer’s disease, including beta-amyloid and tau protein.

These substances form deposits known as amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles, which disrupt the normal functioning of neurons and can cause them to die. Over time, this leads to brain atrophy, especially in the hippocampus region, which significantly reduces a person’s cognitive abilities.

 

By joining the Huxleў friends club, you support philosophy, science and art

 

Exercise can counteract these processes through several mechanisms:

1) improved glucose metabolism through increased insulin sensitivity helps to provide neurons with needed energy;

2) exercise reduces inflammation in the brain, which may be associated with the development of Alzheimer’s disease;

3) physical activity increases levels of BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) and other growth factors, which supports the survival of existing neurons and stimulates the formation of new nerve cells and synapses.

Thus, regular exercise can be considered an effective strategy to reduce the risk of cognitive impairment and neurodegenerative diseases.

Neurogenesis, which occurs mainly in the hippocampus, a region of the brain associated with memory and learning, promotes cognitive function and may help slow or prevent cognitive decline associated with age and dementia.

 

8 WAYS TO PUMP UP THE HIPPOCAMPUS

 

As we age, the natural process of brain cell renewal slows down, but there are proven ways to maintain and improve cognitive function. Here are some scientifically proven methods for stimulating the hippocampus, a key area of the brain responsible for memory and learning:

1. Sports for reaction and accuracy: disciplines such as tennis or badminton require quick reaction and accuracy, which helps improve brain function.

2. Aerobic exercise: regular aerobic exercise improves blood circulation and oxygen supply to the brain.

3. Daily walking: studies show that 9800 steps a day can reduce the risk of dementia by 50%. Set a goal of 112 steps per minute for half an hour for maximum effect.

4. Interval training: short but intense interval exercise improves cognitive performance and stimulates the brain.

5. Balance exercises: yoga asanas such as «Tree» (Vrikshasana), «Warrior III» (Virabhadrasana III), and «Dancing Shiva» (Natarajasana) help develop coordination and spatial perception.

6. Dance and choreography: learning dances from different cultures improve brain plasticity through unconventional movements and rhythms.

7. Playing musical instruments: stimulates hand motor skills and promotes mental development.

8. Flexibility and stretching: flexibility exercises improve overall body and brain health.

9. Combining physical and mental practices: practices such as Ashtanga yoga and Taijiquan combine physical activity with meditative practices, improving concentration and mindfulness.

As we can see, scientists disagree with the quote, «Running doesn’t make me smarter, but it does give me time to think». They argue that physical activity is precisely what makes a person smarter.

By adopting these approaches, you will not only keep your body healthy but also significantly improve your brain function by preventing age-related changes and keeping your hippocampus active.

 


When copying materials, please place an active link to www.huxley.media
By joining the Huxleў friends club, you support philosophy, science and art
Share material

Spelling error report

The following text will be sent to our editors: