Thursday, November 28, 2013

Your Synapses and Neurons #2

  • It's quite well established now that pugilistic trauma to your brain can actually break off the axon, the one large projection from each neurons. So what happens in conditions such as Alzheimer's? It seems that one of the ways in which Alzheimer's negatively impacts thinking ability involves the size of the synapse. Nerve endings begin to shrink and increase the distance between the end of an axon and the dendrite or another neuron. This increased space not only means that thinking takes longer but sometimes the message just cannot make it across the space. The process in the brain that should be sprouting nerve endings die and eventually, the person can no longer handle short-term memory or the retrieval of long-term memory. Are you afraid you are developing Alzheimer's? Get your brain evaluated and be sure you are doing a minimum of 30 minutes of challenging mental exercise every day. Avoid worrying, however, as worry is lethal for brain function. One bottom line says that you know you don't have dementia just because you misplace your car keys. On the other hand, you know you may have Alzheimer's when you see your car keys and forget what you would use them for.

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