Enough sleep, learn to manage stress or reduce the amount of food eaten each day helps us to care for the brain, slowing neuronal damage and thus the onset of degenerative diseases. The specialist in Neurology and member of Top Doctors, Dr. Jose Manuel Garcia Moreno gives us the keys to maintaining good brain health and prevent such diseases.
What are the causes of degenerative diseases?
Unfortunately we not yet know the cause of these diseases intimate but have much to see the changes that occur during the process of brain aging. This depends on the one hand, the genetic load of each of us, but also greatly, from our living habits.
Today we know that genetics is not unalterable, and we can redirect our predisposition to disease modifying our unhealthy habits. A person who inherits a favorable genetics and protective against these diseases may be deprived of it if your brain subjected to practices no "brain-healthy".
Most often "not inherit the disease itself but the risk of suffering". Inherit means that the risk for the disease manifests itself is not enough to get the gene or set of genes, but also an added factor, which, most of the time is environmental.
How they affect habits such as eating, sleeping or sport to our brain?
greatly affect. On the one hand, there is the power. Excessive food intake, particularly saturated fat, leads to increased oxidative stress causing irreparable damage to neurons. Limit your calorie intake up to 30-40% slows aging and prolongs life expectancy.
As for exercise, moderate aerobic, such as walking or cycling, improves neuronal synaptic functions, increases levels of neurotrophic factors and the number of hippocampal neurons; thereby improves learning, memory and anxiety.
On average we spent 1/3 of our lives sleeping. Among the many functions that the dream, one of the most important is the consolidation of memory. During sleep they are sorted and stored memories. Furthermore, it has been found that during sleep neurons are cleaned of toxic products generated during mental activity.
Poor sleep in quantity or quality, for example, which occurs in people with obstructive sleep apnea, irreparably damage our brain and favor the appearance of both neurological and psychiatric brain diseases.
Moreover, activities such as mental, never stop learning; or social, avoid isolation, suffer disappointments or concerns, help prevent these diseases.
Very often during retirement decreases much mental activity. This is an excellent breeding ground for neurodegenerative diseases invade us. You have to keep doing things that allow our brain to keep fit. The brain is like a muscle, you need to constantly receive stimuli and if it is not exercised atrophy. The worst that can happen is a retired stay at home watching TV.
And stress, how long term affects our brain?
Stress has a harmful effect on our brain. As a result of a sustained stress, day after day, the brain is "bathed" glucocorticoid, a hormone produced by the adrenal glands and, at high levels in the nervous system, it has deadly consequences on neurons.
In addition, corticosteroids produce atrophy of the hippocampus, a brain structure that plays a key role both in memory and stress neuroendocrine regulation; and in the production of new neurons. In conclusion, stress promotes premature aging of the brain.
Today, we live in a sick society that generates diseases not able to give life its true meaning. In general, people are living without thinking about whether they are doing right or wrong and whether they can distinguish the fundamental from the accessory. Failure to distinguish this creates a lot of stress.
What are the early symptoms or signs to detect these diseases?
Nature is wise and always warns. Many of these diseases are initiated with such subtle things as changes in smell or sleep; sometimes with changes in mood. The problem is that these are very non-specific and are not always the start of a neurodegenerative disease. We must be on alert when a grownup, no history begins with a depressive syndrome or changes in character, because often these changes can be the beginning of a dementia.
Today, we have no curative treatment but only symptomatic treatment for these diseases. Hence, the importance of learning how to prevent them.