(Last Updated On: April 6, 2020)
THE AGING BRAIN
Every day we perform hundreds of tasks in a day but are unaware of the efforts involved. The two most important organs of your life the brain and heart function harmoniously with other parts of the body to perform daily activities. These tasks are of different forms such as noticing colors, remembering names or calculation. Mental abilities change throughout life such as brain maturation and later with the aging of brain cells and their billions of complex interconnections. This brain on average weighs three pounds but holds 400 blood vessels, 100 billion neurons, and trillion glial cells. Time is a major factor which passes away with age. As our body ages, the functional power of the brain declines which is a natural process. Are we destined for senescence once we are barely out of adolescence? Turn the brain structure to its activity. Brain activity impacts our memory of our ability to multitask and more.
Is aging a disease? There are three major mechanisms behind the effect of aging:
● Energy consumption
● Free radicals
● Damage to our DNA
All of these factors do impact our body parts and this truly involves the brain. The regions of the brain associated with processing episodic memory and executive functioning are more prone to aging which may relate to the cognitive function of the brain to decline. So it is the neurochemistry of the brain that happens to change with time affecting the major cognitive function. Aging affects all and its important to see how aging affects our life. Episodic and working memory tends to decline over time.
Energy and oxygen are two important features required by our body which we get from nutrients in food. Energy from the food helps us to carry out various activities and functions along with blood circulation to the brain and heart. For all these purposes of life, energy is required and stored in various forms in your body through metabolism. Energy stored is equally proportional to energy expenditure as well. The mechanism by which this energy is developed from food is called metabolism. Metabolism of the digestive tract is one of the important functions of the body for proper absorption assimilation of the nutrient. Just like the body has its metabolism mechanism for harmonious function so does the brain has a metabolism power to maintain its integrity and functioning. It was important to remember that this energy may deplete with time or with age depending on various metabolic factors that derange the metabolism. Similarly, brain metabolism is affected which declines over time with age.
New neurons are developed every day. The potential energy to develop neurons and maintain brain integrity declines with age. For it to function well, caloric restriction and brain metabolism are some of the important features which need to be studied well. To establish this aspect of brain functioning, brain glucose metabolism is one of the important features to maintain the integrity of the brain.
The basic unit of the body is the cell. The cell is the powerhouse of the energy that it develops in the mitochondria to produce energy. This energy is utilized by the body for proper functioning. Similarly, let’s not forget that the brain also needs energy and its utilization power is equally important for all brain cells to function well.
This helps in maintaining brain integrity. The utilization of energy is extremely important for these neurons to develop and function well. Caloric restriction without malnutrition would increase the healthspan of the organism which would help in increasing the potential power of the brain to think and communicate increasing brain metabolism. The coordination and communication of the neurons along with the neurotransmitters requires some amount of nutrients that can be converted into potential energy to increase the sharpness and the power of the brain and to deteriorate the overall aging process. This is the function of the central nervous system which involves the brain and the spinal cord.
In the peripheral nervous system it dramatically helps in improving the energy metabolism thus improves these two important factors
● Glucose homeostasis
● Insulin sensitivity
Our body maintains a sense of equilibrium known as Homeostasis for the smooth functioning of various systems of the body in harmony. Our brain and heart are the two important systems of the body that work together in coordination with other body systems for proper functioning and communication. This requires glucose and energy. So maintaining glucose homeostasis is important as far as balance is concerned. Also when treated with such factors of equilibrium it lowers the risk of the neurodegenerative mechanism of the brain and helps in the proper functioning of the brain. This also improves cognitive functioning which is the thinking power and the recalling function of the brain.
It has a direct impact on memory and learning. Structural integrity and cognitive skills are important features of the brain. Aging declines the functions of the brain. Caloric restriction and brain metabolism is a process that helps in boosting the brain’s functioning for a longer period improving the lifespan and the brainstorming powers in the long run as body ages. Calorie restriction would reduce brain aging as wells as the body’s aging power by changing various modulators in the brain that help for the structural connectivity of nerves, the function of neurons and the neurotransmitters which connect the left and the right hemispheres through the corpus callosum. Brain anatomical structure along with is functioning is equally important for efficient aging.
Many disorders are associated with the neurodegenerative disorders of the brain like the Parkinson which slows down the pace of the brain functioning and ultimately slows down your body or Alzheimer which causes forgetfulness or weakness of the memory. In addition to extending life span specific diets help in brain functioning. We cannot reverse the condition but slow down the aging process by supplying it with important nutrients and vitamins which help in balancing the body. But taking care at a young age would certainly help in the long run.
Cutting edge research on preservation of brain integrity with age-associated with the lifespan of the individual was done with the aspect of the brain metabolism as the important feature to maintain the condition of neurons and glial cells along with proper functioning of neurotransmitter. The pathological feature of each brain disorder differs as far as brain functioning is concerned. The neurotransmitters play an important role in maintaining the homeostasis and the cells of the brain which is the neurons help in maintaining glucose metabolism. Caloric restriction with brain metabolism prevents age-related neuronal damage. It can be proposed in the future to prevent age-related diseases.
Brain metabolism and structural integrity
White matter is important to the structure of the brain that has taken a backseat. It is composed of nerve fibers that help in proper functioning and transportation of nerve transmissions. It makes the nerve transmission quick encasing each neuron to transmit information from one neuron to other which requires energy through brain metabolism…
White matter structural connectivity in the corpus callosum is used as an index for brain structural integrity. Corpus callosum connecting the left and the right hemispheres of the brain is known to decrease in size with age. Maintaining this size with the matter in the brain is important for the brain’s integrity. As age increases the energy supply decreases which leads to decreased neuronal activities causing defective metabolism of the brain. Also, the atrophic changes can be observed in the MRI scan. When the brain undergoes atrophic changes certain brain metabolites are released in this brain metabolism mechanism like total choline, glutamate-glutamine complex, myoinositol, lactate, N-acetyl aspartate, phosphocreatine, total creatinine, and taurine.
The cerebral metabolic rate of glucose (CMR) helps in using glucose for the proper functioning of the body. It is the cerebral oxygen consumption that provides the energy required for intense physio chemical activities. The brain is one of the metabolically active organs in the body. Oxygen is utilized by the brain almost entirely for the oxidation of carbohydrates. Cerebral oxygen consumption continues unabated day and night. Even during sleep, there is a relatively small decrease in metabolic rate.
Top power foods for the brain :
5. Small fatty fish
7. Green tea
8. Pumpkin seeds
10. Whole grains
Try these top 10 power foods to improve brain structural integrity and prevent aging for a better lifespan.