Thu, Feb

The human and financial cost of Alzheimer's disease is devastating. More that 55 million people are living with Alzheimer's disease and other causes of dementia, rising to 78 million by 2030 and 139 million by 2050. In the United States alone, the Alzheimer's Association estimated that in 2020, more than 11 million unpaid caregivers provided 15.3 billion hours of assistance (valued at $256.7 billion) to 6.2 million people with dementia. That estimate does not include the $51.2 billion in Medicaid payments for Americans ages 65 and older living with dementia.

Repeated ethanol exposure enhances synaptic plasticity in a key area in the brain

AUSTIN, Texas-Drinking alcohol primes certain areas of our brain to learn and remember better, says a new study from the Waggoner Center for Alcohol and Addiction Research at The University of Texas at Austin.

The common view that drinking is bad for learning and memory isn't wrong, says neurobiologist Hitoshi Morikawa, but it highlights only one side of what ethanol consumption does to the brain.

Read more …Alcohol helps the brain remember, says new study - EurekAlert! (article link)

(Cell Press) A new study uses creative engineering to unravel brain mechanisms associated with one of the most fundamental subjective human feelings: self-consciousness. The research, published by Cell Press in the April 28 issue of the journal Neuron, identifies a brain region called the temporo-parietal junction (TPJ) as being critical for the feeling of being an entity localized at a particular position in space and for perceiving the world from this position and perspective.

Read more …Neurorobotics reveals brain mechanisms of self-consciousness - EurekAlert! (article link)

- How to sync daily activities to your body's clock.
- The best time to have sex is at 7:00 am.
- In the morning testosterone levels go up and this is good for your libido.
- The best time for a job interview is 10:00-11:00 am.
- The pain threshold goes up and feeling something painful is best between 3:00-5:00 pm
- Hand eye coordination is best between 5:00-7:00 for workouts.
- Positivity is best at 6:00 pm for bad news.
- Creativity peeks at night 8:00 pm.

Read more …Erica Hill talks to Nicole Beland, Exec. Editor of Cosmopolitan, about how to sync activities to...

Many evolutionary biologists believe the increased in the size of the brain relative to the body size in animals such as primates was driven by the demands of living in societies. This is known as the social – or Machiavellian – intelligence hypothesis.
- Previous comparisons of different birds and primates have shown that more social animals tend to have larger brains.
- “Social interactions seem to impose important cognitive challenges that must be met by enhanced investment in certain brain regions”

Read more …The bee’s unusual social structure has allowed biologists to collect some of the best evidence yet...

Rex Jung at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque and his colleagues had found that creativity correlates with low levels of the chemical N-acetylaspartate, which is found in neurons and seems to promote neural health and metabolism.
- Several recent studies have suggested that white matter of high integrity in the cortex, which is associated with higher mental function, means increased intelligence.
- Jung found that the most creative people had lower white-matter integrity in a region connecting the prefrontal cortex to a deeper structure called the thalamus, compared with their less creative peers.
- Jung suggests that slower communication between some areas may actually make people more creative.

Read more …Creativity correlates with low levels of the chemical N-acetylaspartate and slower communication...

- A new neuroimaging study on stressed-out students suggests that male humans, like male rats, don't do their most agile thinking under stress.
- At Mount Sinai Medical Center have shown that repeated stress on rats shriveled nerve cells of the medial prefrontal cortex, and that a shrunken prefrontal cortex is linked to slower performance on attention-shifting tasks.
- The message is that healthy brains are remarkably resilient and plastic

Read more …Stress disrupts human thinking, but the brain can bounce back - EurekaAlert (article link)

- Normally, neurons receive different chemical signals that tell them to either switch on or switch off.
- What Bains and colleagues have shown is that stress turns down the activity of KCC2, thus removing the ability of the brake, a chemical known as GABA, to work properly.
- A loss of the brain's ability to slow down may explain some of the harmful, emotional consequences of stress.

Read more …New and unexpected mechanism identifies how the brain responds to stress - EurekaAlert (article...

When you spot the object of your desire, the neurotransmitter dopamine lights up areas deep within the brain, triggering feelings of pleasure, motivation, and reward. (Cocaine acts the same way.) You feel a rush, and your heartbeat quickens. Attraction, too, is a powerful drug.

The brain stem also gets into the act, releasing phenylethylamine (PEA), which speeds up the flow of information between nerve cells.

Read more …Sex Addiction: neurotransmitter dopamine lights up areas deep within the brain - Men's Health...

 Many people have heard that we only use 10 percent of our brains.  Nonsense!  You may not use every neuron in your brain at the same time, but each is important.  

- If you don’t take care of your brain, you lose on average 85,000 brain cells a day. That is what causes aging. With appropriate forethought, however, you can reverse that trend and dramatically slow the aging process.
- The best sources of stimulation for the brain are physical exercise, mental exercise, and social bonding, which will be discussed in greater detail later on.

Read more …Cool Brain Facts - Amen Clinic (article link)

Your brain is more complicated than any computer we can imagine. Did you know that you have one hundred billion nerve cells in your brain, and every nerve cell has many connections to other nerve cells? In fact, your brain has more connections in it than there are stars in the universe! Optimizing your brain’s function is essential to being the best you can be, whether at work, in leisure, or in your relationships.

Protect your brain, feed your brain, kill the ants that invade your brain, work your brain, develop a concert state for your brain, treat brain problems early.

Read more …Seven Ways To Optimize Your Brain and Your Life - Amen Clinics (article link)