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Learning & Education

Dendrites are the most essential part of synaptic formation; hence, forming new dendrites is critical for healthy brain functioning.  Here are some ways to enhance it: 

1) Meditation 

Chronic stress is one of the main causative agents of depression [18]. Scientists have shown that there is an adverse impact on the shape, activity, and function of dendrites, as well as on synaptic plasticity and the secretion of stress hormones (cortisol) due to chronic stress [7,12]. It is crucial to prevent chronic stress to preserve optimal neural and synaptic functioning. Studies have shown many positive effects of meditation on reducing chronic stress [28,29]. 

2) Sleep

Studies have shown that sleep after motor learning activates the dendritogenesis and spinogenesis of postsynaptic dendrites [21,22]. Sleep also prevents the elimination of newly formed spines after learning multiple tasks [21,22]. Non-rapid eye movement sleep reactivates neurons are activated during motor tasks. Altering this hinders branch-specific dendritic spine formation [21,22]. 

4) Antioxidants

Studies have found that a diet rich in antioxidants reduces dendritic spine loss [31]. Antioxidants eliminate reactive oxygen species (ROS) and protect the brain. Omega fatty acids have been shown to improve neuronal function mediated by the formation of new neurons and synapses [31,32]. Omega fatty acids also increase the secretion of neurotrophins like BDNF, NGF, NT-3, and NT-4, activating dendritogenesis [12,33,34].

5) Methylene Blue

Methylene Blue (MB) has been shown to activate the expression of PTEN-induced kinase 1 (PINK1) [35,36]. PINK1 is actively involved in regulating dendritic morphology [37]. Thus, the application of MB may positively impact dendritogenesis [38]. MB also activates BDNF [39,40], which has been shown to play an active role in dendritogenesis. MB enhances antioxidants in the body, which reduces ROS and improves cognitive function[35,38]. You can grab some now

6) Neurobics

Neurobics (neuron+ aerobics) is a concept introduced by Dr. Lawrence Katz [41]. He developed a variety of brain exercises that can provide more oxygen to neurons and help improve cognitive function [41]. The concept is that brain exercises result in a higher release of neurotrophins like BDNF [41–43]. BDNF activates dendritogenesis and helps in improving cognitive function [42,43]. Practicing long-term neurobics may induce a change in brain morphology due to neuroplasticity. Studies have found that London taxi drivers have increased grey matter and larger hippocampal volume, as driving is a neurobic that impacts these brain regions [42,44]. Similarly, learning music improves verbal and working memory [41,42].

  • 11 min read

New research evidence suggests that meditation can modulate brain activity, specifically via the inhibitory neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) [3–6]. Though this may perhaps not be surprising to the devotees of the practice, in this article we will investigate the relationship between meditation and this important neurotransmitter in the brain and nervous system.  

  • 8 min read

Do you remember the last time you did something for the first time? Maybe it was the first time you took a solo travel trip, tried to start learning a new language or yes, even THAT first time (wink wink). 

It was probably awkward and at least mildly uncomfortable. But before you knew it, something clicked and you grasped the basics (yes, even THOSE basics!). 

Are you ready to get out of your comfort zone?

Let's dive into what, the where, and the how of neurogenesis + 4 easy ways to boost it too. 

  • 10 min read

Stress management is therefore an essential skill to develop to ensure optimal health and wellbeing. And the ability to rapidly de-stress is an important one, in order to hopefully avoid the regular and persistent stress that can be so damaging to health in the long-term.  

In this article, we will briefly review ten indispensable ways to rapidly de-stress based on the latest research evidence. 

  • 8 min read

All of us are faced with challenging life experiences and elements of mental adversity, from both internal and external sources. The research literature is filled with examples of children and adults who, in the face of considerable psychological stress, displayed minimal changes in emotional wellbeing or behavioral disturbances [1].  There are, of course, many more that have not been so lucky. 

Our ability to deal with these stresses is called ‘stress resilience’ and is rooted in our view of the world, the availability and quality of social resources, and specific coping strategies that we might employ. According to the American Psychological Association, resources and skills associated with more beneficial outcomes (i.e., greater stress resilience) can be actively cultivated and practiced.   

In today’s article, we will investigate eight essential methods to improve stress resilience according to the latest research. And at least one might surprise you.   

  • 9 min read

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