What it is & what it can Cause
Neurological degeneration is a degenerative nerve disease. It can impoverish numerous functions of the body. This can include causing problems to the heart, breathing, macular degeneration, and even difficulty to maintain balance while walking. Generally depriving nerve conditions does commonly worsen with age.
Neurological degeneration can be either inherited or not. Yet, common hereditary causes of neurological degeneration can be Huntington Disease, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease to list a few. These are considered as genetic mutations that are passed from ancestors to descendents of particular families. Yet, stroke, toxins, virus, alcoholism, tumor, chemical exposure amidst other can develop degenerative nerve cells uncorrelated to genetic heredity.
Other anti-aging theories such as decline in hormone levels and immune system compromise represent a weakening concession of nerve cells. This neurological worsening disease can with aging cause senile dementia and memory loss. The fact that the neuron system becomes less active does sometimes decrease-hearing capabilities of elders. The inner ear is unable to recognize low frequency. This not only affects hearing but also balancing. Hence, aged people tend to hurt themselves while falling. Some orthopedic injuries that are caused are the major reasons for nursing homes and old-aged assistants.
Scientific overview of Neurological degeneration
The nervous system is highly dynamic including connected neurons and much more. For instance Glial cells such as Oligodenadrocytes Manufacture Myelin and Scwann cells play a vital role in wrapping (insulating) axons that interlinks neurons. Furthermore, Astrocytes another type of Glial cells are responsible to monitor the wrapping process. In theory, it is believed that all cells interconnected to neurons are equally important in maintaining longevity and mental health.
Some common example of diseases produced by dysfunctioning Glial cells is cerebral palsy and multiple sclerosis. Besides, if myelin is not well-generated mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, autism and bipolar disease can be an outcome.
Cognitive health, according to recent research, can be regulated by having a constant rate of neurogenesis, which is a process of generating neurons and thus neurogenesis is accountable for the growing of the population in the brain. This process mainly takes place in the hippocampus. Yet, an imbalance or fluctuating neurogenesis can be a result of mood disorder or bipolar disease.
Neurogenesis takes place in primarily two parts of the brain; First the forebrain in the subventricular zone and secondly the hippocampus of the dentate gyrus. These two areas are responsible for cell division whereby the neural progenitor cells constantly reproduce glial and neuron cells.
Multipotent progenitor cells can produce various cells but in a limited range. The cells produced can be oligodendrocytes, astrocytes and neurons. Yet, this differentiation process is still not comprehensively known by scientists.
The neurogenesis does with increasing age fall in productivity. Eventually the functions of neurons do also decline with old age.
Environmental conditions affect the hippocampla neurogenesis. Some examples are radiations, hormonal signals, emotional condition and circadian gene expression, which are body stressors. Some conditions positively affect neurogenesis being learning, deliberate exercise, mood-stabilizers (Prozac “fluoxetine” and lithium) as well as a having an appropriate surrounding environment. Neurogenesis on the contrary harmed by involuntary radiation, toxicity, stress and particular categories of chemotherapy. In summary, an antioxidant environment encourages neurogenes while an oxidative environment blocks neurogenes as well as promotes the development of astrocytes instead of neurons( consequences of this is still an uncovered research topic).
The neurogenesis cycle is dependent or somehow linked to the day and night as light-associated circadian cycles. According to research on rats it has been shown that neural progenitor cells such as neurons are primarily produced during night. It has thus been depicted that irregular sleep cycles can affect the neurogenesis and thereby cause bipolar and mood swings. The consumption of mood stabilizers (fluoxetine) apart from blocking serotonin tends to speed up nerogenesis.
Scientists are scrutinizing the cell-biology and genetic factors of neurogenesis. It has been found that Bcl-2 gene plays a substantial role in maintaining neurons in the nervous system. NF-kappaB is also considered vital. However, NF-KappaB and Bcl-2, are paradoxically encouraging neurogenesis while supporting carcinogenesis. An ink4a protein that acts to suppress aging thereby enforcing defense against cancer related to age. This comes at the cost of a decline in neurogenesis and production of various types of somatic stem cells. The contradiction of the promotion of anti-cancer while trading somatic stem cells must further be examined at a bimolecular level. Findings in this field could significantly add to longevity.
Clear relations should be understood. Neurological degeneration can be caused by all the major anti-aging theories such as lipofuscin accumulation, inflammation, mitochondrial damage, oxidative damage amidst the others.
Protecting or Firewall against Neurological Degeneration
A convenient lifestyle can tend to be much more vital to the nervous system than what people suspects. When talking about the brain the concept of ‘use it or lose it’ comes into play. Constantly going up against mental challenges with regular exercise assures mental agility and flexibility. Research has already shown that physical exercise helps to monitor blood glucose, which normally increases as people get older. The rise in blood glucose level has mental consequences functioning in hippocampal causing both cognitive decline and dementia.
An active lifestyle is necessary. This can be attained by pursuing good hobbies, work, and travelling as well as positive social interaction with families and friends. Negative lifestyles such as overconsumption of toxic substances such as alcohol and illegal drugs should be circumvented.
The lifestyle that must be adopted is complex as neurogenesis affects the brain in various ways. Considering some of the environmental factors a constant pattern of sleep is necessary. Moreover, all types of physical and mental stress should be evaded. This can be achieved through pursuing things that ‘you’ like to do. – Sleep is important for the overall health –
Cunningness acquired through lifestyle challenges
A recent research published in Scientific American reports, March 2009 has evaluated the life of neurons in rats post to neurogenesis. It is a fact that many thousands of neurons are produced every day within the dentdrate gyrus found in the hippocampus. Yet, the majority of these neurons will pass away within a few weeks if the animal isn’t faced with something extravagant. On the other hand, if the animal is faced with something extremely challenging, that triggers learning of something highly complex then these neurons will not die. This research finds new ground on determining how learning really influences future behaviour.
2. Medical Supplement/ Firewalls against neurological degeneration
Generally recommended supplements are alpha lipoic and acetyl-l-Carnitine that both avoid oxidative damage and enters the mitochondria. It takes very long time for nervous cells to regenerate. These substances enhance the recovery processes. Meclofenoxate and Acetyl-l-carnitine extract lipofuscin from nerve cells while simultaneously amplifying receptors abilities which conventionally tend to impoverish with age. Meclofenoxate does also generate DMAE after being metabolized within the body. This natural chemical is produced in the brain and found in fish. DMAE is prominent neurotransmitter (acetylcholine). DMAE has other age-related benefits. It tends to act on muscles by allowing more flaccidity and thereby eliminating wrinkles on the face.
Piracetam is another supplement, which helps to maintain cognitive abilities. It supports the brain with necessary energy. Moreover, Folic acid, Vitamin B-6 and B-12 can effectively tackle surplus of homocysteine being related to cognitive decline.
Green tea has a substance called l-theanine, which acts to encourage neurotransmitters having an ability to bypass blood-brain barriers. Research supports the fact l-theanine is neuro-protective as it ensures better cognitive abilities and relaxation; stimulating neurotransmitters are decreased while calming neurotransmitter are encouraged. The substance is based on experiment good to defend against stroke or even glutamate toxicity (Related to Alzheimer’s disease)
Yet, another substance L-carnosine, which is a substance that can decrease the level of brain damage generated through buildup of hypochlorite anions, malondialdehyde and beta-amyloid. This reduces the risk of suffering from senile dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Antioxidants such as Curcumin, Green Tea, OPC and Resveratrol have anti-angiogenic and anti-inflammatory features. There are evidences that cancer and Alzheimer’s disease can be caused by excess inflammation, angiogenesis and oxidative damage. Yet, the mentioned antioxidants address all the three problems. For instance, reserveratrol is effective in defending neurons from harmful induced beta-amyloid, thereby alleviating the risk of Alzheimer.
Ginko biloba is a substance that improves the memory processes and neuropsychological abilities of elders. It is a fact that the metal levels such as mercury are abnormally high in patient suffering from Alzheimer. Thus, acetyl-l-carnitine and carnosine, mentioned above tend to relieve this neurological aspect.
Selenium does eventually improve hearing functioning. It actually reduces the toxicity caused by serum lead.
Studies say that magnesium treats neurological problems. It improves learning, cognitive skills, memory and shortens the time and occurrences of headaches. Magnesium tends to penetrate some neural receptors in the brain, and this is what accounts for the overall improvement in mental abilities.
Bipolar disease and Mood disorder are generally caused by anomalous neurogenesis. Some of the many substances that can be used to address neurogensis are DHEA, neurosteroids melatonin, pregnenealone, fish oil, folic acid, curcumin, resveratrol, components of fish oil EPA and DHA and ginko bilboa. They can enhance cognitive abilities and alleviate dementia, depression and Alzheimer disease.
Other Firewall Supplements:
3. Ginger extract
4. Withania somnifera (ashwagandha)