Showing posts with label Brain Health. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Brain Health. Show all posts

Prions - Fatal Proteins that can kill you

Most of the people think that microorganisms like virus and bacteria are only thing that cause life threatening diseases, but let me tell you that there are some proteins named "prions" that are more fatal than any bacteria or virus. A prion can kill a person very easily and there is no treatment for it.

History of Prions

During 1950s, Carleton Gajdusek was doing a research on kuru disease when he found a possibly a new infectious agent. In 1960s, Tikvah Alper and John Stanley Griffith, found that those infectious agent consist solely of proteins. In 1982, Stanley B. Prusiner announced that his team had purified the hypothetical infectious protein. Prusiner won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1997 for his research into prions.

What are Prions ?

The word prion derives from "proteinaceous infectious particle", taken from the words protein and infection. Prions are misfolded  proteins, and nobody knows what causes the normal protein to misfold. Normal form of prion protein in found in cell membrane, but when a person get infected with prions, a misfolded version of same proteins, it becomes fatal. Prions have got the ability to transmit their misfolded shape onto normal variants of same protein. It causes neurodegenerative diseases, which damage brain and nervous system of mammals and finally kills the host as there is no known effective treatment.

Prions Diseases in Animals

  • Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs): It is known as scrapie in sheep, chronic wasting disease (CWD) in deer.
  • Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE): It infects cattle and commonly known as mad cow disease.

Prions Diseases in Humans

  • Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD)
  • variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease(vCJD)
  • Gerstmann–Sträussler–Scheinker syndrome (GSS)
  • fatal familial insomnia (FFI)
  • kuru
Some researchers believe that amyloids, abnormal aggregates of proteins formed by prions, are responsible for neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

Can we destroy Prions ?

Our body has got proteases, the enzymes that can break down proteins. But prions are resistant to proteases, hence it can't be destroyed by body. Prion aggregates are stable due to their structural stability, thus resistant to denaturation by chemical and physical agents. We can't even destroy them through normal disinfection or cooking.

How does prion infection spread ?

Before we tell you about prion infection spread, you must know that prion disease is very rare, as only 1 to 2 people in every 1 million people die due to it each year.
One can get affected with prions in three ways: acquired, genetic or sporadic.

  • Acquired: means a person gets exposed to prions and  gets infected. For example kuru (a prion disease) spread in a tribe through cannibalism, which was a tradition there as they eat their dead relatives. Similarly mad cow disease spread from cows to humans through contaminated cow meat. The acquired form of prion disease "vCJD" killed 200 people in UK since 1994. Apart from contaminated meat, there are some cases where prions spread through contaminated surgical instruments and transplants of dura matter (tissues surrounding brain).
  • Genetic: means that this disease was in the genes of the infected person. Mutations in the DNA (PRNP gene) produces these misfolded proteins at some point in their life. Most of the times such people live their whole life without this disease, but chances of getting this disease increase with age. Nobody knows what causes it to form these misfolded proteins. There are 40 genetic mutations that can cause prion disease. Here an interesting fact is that 60% of genetic prion disease patients have no family history of this disease. It shows how rarely this mutant gene expresses itself. 
  • Sporadic: It means that we don't know. In other words, you can say that protein misfolds by chance and then spreads. There are some cases where there is no significant evidence of  mutant genes or eating contaminated meat. There are 6 known strains of sporadic prion disease. Here an interesting fact is that 85% of prion disease is sporadic. Around 15% is genetic and less than 1% are aquired

This disease need a lot more research in future to keep humans on safer side. However this disease is very rare but still very scary.

What makes us forget ? Brain Science

Everybody want to have a good memory and we often try to find out how much we can store in our brain memory. Nobody want to forget anything, but our brain is not a hard-disk (as most of the people think about it). Brain is a biologically evolved very advanced supercomputer that remembers a lot of things, but also keeps forgetting somethings, which are considered useless by it. Sometimes we feel that our memory is not performing well only when our brain considers some important things as useless, while those things were actually important. It does not mean that there is some problem with your brain, almost everybody tend to forget where he/she left the keys.

What makes us forget ?

Forgetting is an equally important part of our life, just like remembering. Our sleep plays an important role in our brain functioning. Especially the REM (Rapid Eye Movement) Sleep, when we see dreams and nightmares, is the time when this erasing of unnecessary memory happens. During a good night sleep we enter REM phase of 10-20 minutes around 6 to 8 times. During all those REM phases we see a number of dreams, but we rarely remember even one of them. It is because during that REM sleep our brain keep erasing the memories of those unnecessary dreams / nightmares, so that they don't interfere with real life memory. While erasing those dream memories, our brain also erases some real life memories that are considered useless or unnecessary by it.

In depth about erasing memory

Our dreams are actually screensavers that are played to entertain us while real task of erasing memory is being done. During REM Sleep, hypothalamus releases MCH (Melanin concentrating hormone). Previously researchers thought that MCH helps in building memory but now they have found that during REM sleep MCH erases the dream's memory and also the short term memory that is considered not-important. What makes it categorize the information as important and not-important is also being researched.
Most of us think that neurons store memory, but its not true. Memory storage occurs in the connections between neurons, known as synapses. Each neuron have thousands of synaptic connections with other neurons. During daytime several synapses are created to store new memories, while during REM sleep MCH erases/destroys the unnecessary synapses. One more event occurs during REM sleep, which changes important short-term memory into long-term memory. Some researches suggest that those synapses grew stronger which were accessed again and again, while those remain weak which are never accessed after creation. MCH probably destroys/erases the weaker synapses.
Now if your teacher asks you to revise the lesson, then understand the fact that accessing the same content stored in your memory makes the synapses stronger and don't let your REM sleep erase that important topic that will be asked in exams.
Same thing happens with us when we leave the keys in our jeans pocket, and next morning we shuffle the whole house searching for them. Actually leaving the keys in your pocket usually happens due to a reflex action, but you don't access that memory again and go to sleep, which erases that never accessed memory.

Sleeping is not just a resting process that eases or our muscles, but it is a maintenance phase of our brain. If you don't sleep for days then your brain chemical start to act weird that affects your mental balance and memory. Mankind is discovering the whole universe without even knowing how our brains are storing/retrieving that information and erasing the useless information without even asking us. There is still a lot more to know about our brain to better understand ourselves.

What causes Headache ? Reasons Explained

Everybody experiences headache multiple times in a lifetime, sometimes mild and sometimes severe. But what exactly causes headache ? Is it some indication of some over-activity in brain, some problem with brain/body, or a way to distract us from something ? Our body is a puzzle and nobody has completely understood it yet. But here we will try to bring some facts about headache that are discovered by researchers till now.

Classification of Headaches

Primary Headache: These headache are caused by over-activity or problem with brain structure such as blood vessels, muscles and nerves of head and neck. Its examples are migraines, cluster headaches, and tension headaches.
Secondary Headache: These headache are caused by some other underlying medical condition in our body. For example :  hangover, influenza, dehydration, ice-cream headaches, brain tumor, stroke etc. Any pain in our body indicates some problem in that particular body part, except secondary headache. Secondary headache is not usually generated due to some problem in head, but may be due to problem in some other part. Treating that medical condition cures our headache as well. 

Understanding Primary Headache

There are three types of primary Headache :
  • Migraine Headache
  • Tension Headache
  • Cluster headache
Reason behind migraine headache is not completely understood, however it affects more than 12% of the population and women are 4 times more prone to it. There are different types of migraine depending on the severity of symptoms, which are discussed in other article. Read More about Migraine.

Cluster headaches are very rare and affect just 0.1% of population. Men in their late 20s are usually affected by it, but women and children can also get affected by it. Those affected by cluster headache often wake up at the same time every night due to headache on same side of head or over the eyebrow.

Tension Headache is the most common primary headache that is faced by more than 90% of population in their lifetime. The real reason is unknown behind this pain, but most of the medical practitioners agree on the fact that physical or emotions stress makes our skull muscles to contract, which cause pain sensation in head. Women are more prone to tension headaches. Tension headache usually feels like a tight band around your head and it is usually mild and steady. It usually occurs without any pattern.

Here we will discuss tension headache in detail, as it is the most occurring headache among humans.

Common reasons behind tension headache

Muscle tension or contraction in face, temple, neck or shoulder is generally the primary reason behind tension headache, but what causes such muscle tension is probably the accurate reason behind tension headache. 

  • Holding your head in same position for too long : It often occurs when you are sitting in front of a screen while typing, reading or watching something.
  • Sleeping with neck in a wrong position : It can also trigger headache along with muscle strain on your shoulder or neck.
  • Stress or Depression: Mental Stress or depression can cause skeletal muscle contractions that can cause headache.
  • Head injury can also cause muscle tension or contraction in the skull region.
  • Jaw clenching or teeth grinding also puts your face muscles under stress.
  • Eye Strain is directly connected to our facial muscles. Those jobs that need high level of visual concentration can cause headache. Some times headache is also a signal of eyesight problems.

Treating Tension Headache

Massaging the scalp is the best way to treat tension headache, but it the intensity of pain is not getting controlled then you may use some over-the-counter pain killer. If headache occurs more than 15 days in a month then you should consult a medical practitioner or take a look at your lifestyle to check if you are actually putting yourself under too much stress.
If you feel that you are getting headache more than 15 days in a month, then its better to keep a record of them and the medication used by you, which may help your doctor in diagnosing your condition.  

Migraine: Just Headache or Something else

Migraine is often known for frequent headache, but it is a neurological disorder which causes headache and dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system. Autonomic activities like digestion and breathing also get disturbed due to recurrent attacks of migraine.

In the beginning most of the migraine sufferers wrongly assume that they can deal with their headache on their own and use over-the counter drugs, which is generally overused. Most of the sufferers keep denying themselves and think that its just a headache which will go away on its own, and thus they wait too long to initiate the correct treatment and make it worst. During the migraine pain our brain amplifies the pain signals and other sensory stimulus. It creates  body-wide effects. For example the sound and light signals are amplified, and the sufferer find hard to tolerate smells, noise, light or even touch.
Women are three times more prone to migraine and your genes play an important role as a risk factor for migraine.
People often take leave from work due to migraine pain , but condition become more unproductive when a person with migraine pain comes to work and can't concentrate or work properly. In a survey Japanese Headache Society found that productivity of one in every five employee is decreased due to migraine, which costs Fujitsu, an IT company, $350 million per year.

Stages of Migraine

Migraine often starts in early childhood, adolescence or early adulthood. There are four stages of migraine, but not everyone goes through all of them. These stages are prodrome, aura, attack and post-drome.
  • Prodrome: This stage occurs two day before actual migraine and often not realized as symptom of migraine. The symptoms of this stage are mood changes (or depression), food cravings, neck stiffness, constipation, increased thirst/urination and frequent yawning.
  • Aura: It occurs only in some migraine patients where some reversible symptoms occur for 20 to 60 minutes that are related to our nervous system. Some of such symptoms are pins/needles sensation in arms/legs, numbness in face or one side of body, difficulty in speaking, hearing amplified noise, bright flashes of light, vision loss, uncontrollable jerking and hallucinations.
  • Attack: Migraine Attack can occur rarely or even a few time per month and can't be predicted. Duration of this attack can last from 4 to 72 hour if remains untreated. Symptoms of migraine attack are pain on one side of head (both sides in some cases), pain that pulses, sensitivity to light, sound, smell and touch and feeling of vomiting.
  • Post-drome: It is the post attack stage which may last up to 24 hours, during which you feel drained and confused. Sudden head movement can trigger pain for few minutes. 

Causes of Migraine

Causes of Migraine are not fully understood but researchers believe that genetics and environmental factors play an important role in it. Some recently understood causes of migraine which are being researched more are listed here.
  • Some researchers believe that when major changes occur in our pain pathway which includes brainstem and trigeminal nerve interaction, then it triggers migraine.
  • Some believe that imbalances in brain chemicals, such as serotonin, that regulate pain in our nervous system, is responsible for migraine pain.
  • Neurotransmitters, including calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) may also be responsible for migraine.
  • Patent foramen ovale (PFO) is a hole in the heart which is present in more than 20% population. These people are four times more prone to migraine. Researches are being conducted to know if closure of this hole can help in getting rid of migraine.

Triggers of Migraine

  • Hormonal Medication, such as oral contraceptives, can make migraine worse. However in some cases reverse happens, where frequency of migraine attacks decrease are using such medication. 
  • Hormonal changes in women during pregnancy, menopause and periods can trigger headaches.
  • Sensory stimulus such as bright lights, loud noise and strong smell can trigger migraine.
  • Too much caffeine, alcohol or wine.
  • Stress at work or home
  • Physical exertion
  • Lack of sleep, jet lag or too much sleep
  • Change of weather or barometric pressure
  • Skipping meals, fasting or eating processed foods

Migraine in USA

  • 47 million people in US are suffering from migraine.
  • Out of them 6 million are chronic migraine patients, which means more than 15 headaches per month.
  • Direct medical expenses on migraine medication amounts to $11 billion per year.
  • Other indirect costs and disability expenses also cost around $11 billion per year.

Medication of Migraine

According to an estimate 40% of migraine patients should be on preventive medicine while just 13% get it. 4 oral drugs are approved by FDA, two anti-seizure drugs and two beta-blockers. Patients of chronic migraine can get injections of Botox.

Note : If you have frequent headaches then you should keep a record of its duration and medication used to get it analysed by a medical practitioner. 

Human Brain memory capacity in Gigabytes (GB)

When it comes to measuring memory capacity of human brain, we tend to think in terms of digital memory. The most popular term to measure memory is GB (Gigabyte), which is comparatively very less when it comes to measuring memory capacity of brain. A number of researches have tried to measure this capacity and have given various estimates which differ a lot from each other. Usually researches say that our brain can store petabytes of data.

There are different estimates about size of human brain when in comes to counting neurons. Some researchers say that only 10% of or brain are neurons, rest are the cells protecting them or the connections between neurons. One neuron can make around 1000 connections (known as synapses) with other neurons, which generates a complex net of neurons and synapses. Each of these connections can also store a memory.
According to present estimates each synapse can store 4.7 bits of information. Cerebral cortex alone has 125 trillion synapses.
According to our brain can store upto 2.5 petabyte (i.e around 2621440 GB). This might seem lesser to some people but this much storage can store up to 300 years of continuous video.

Some Neuroscientists believe that this estimate might be too low or too high, because while doing this simple math we assume that each synapse can hold 1 byte of information. This assumption of 1 byte equals 1 synapse might not be correct. Apart from that all synapses are not used for storage purpose, as some are also used for processing that memory.

One more interesting fact is that, no matter how much the age is, a human never feels out of space to save newer memories. Some researchers feel that it is because our storage capacity is more than required, while some feel that it is because our brain keep erasing those memories which are not of much importance.

Our brain is not just a Hardisk

When we talk about brain and memory, most of us think as if it is a digital pen-drive or a hardisk, while it is not so. Our brain does not learn a thing completely unless that thing is paid attention to or if we don't revise it. You can't learn names of 100 people in a single day, but you may learn it in a few days/weeks if they are your co-workers in your office. A computer can do this thing in a few minutes if it is programmed to do so by a human. Here you might think that your brain is less smart than a computer, but wait a second ! Do you know how much time a computer will take to search for name of a person by matching its face in a 2.5 petabyte hardisk. Probably it might take days, but your brain can instantly tell you if he/she is someone familiar or not, even if you have met that person years ago, you will remember the name if you had met that person a few times. Our brain is a biologically evolved storage and processing device which is way smarter than we think.

Our Consciousness and Memory are outside !

There are some people who think that human consciousness is not something inside our brain. According to them our brain is just a communicating device. We know that we can communicate with other people through talking, but we can also read their expressions, their body language, or their behavior. We are not connected through wires but we communicate better than any wired medium. When it comes to computers we know that they communicate through cables, wifi, bluetooth or other radio frequencies, but we don't know how our brain communicates with our own consciousness. If this theory is true, then our brain is just a processing and communicating device which is always connected to some outer consciousness (like cloud computing), from where you can access unlimited amount of data. At present not much people believe in this theory but who knows what we may come to know in future.

How long does our Brain works after Heart stops beating

We all know that our brain works through electrical signals / impulses travelling through neurons. Brain is one of the most mysterious organs of human body, which is still not completely understood by medical science. From past few decades some researchers are conducting researches on its functioning. When a person dies, his brain can still work for some time due to some oxygenated blood present in it and electrical impulses travelling inside brain. These things are sufficient to keep the brain alive even after heart stops beating. It the person revives through some medical intervention by making his heart beat before brain dies, then it is called near-death-experience (NDE).

Actual Death of a person can only be considered when all levels of consciousness is lost and all electrical activity shuts down completely. Electrical activity inside the brain can be measured by scientific instruments.

How long does our brain works after Heart stops beating

According to some researches it takes 3 to 5 minutes for all electrical activity to seize inside brain after heart has stopped beating. However some researchers are in dilemma if consciousness also seizes with electrical activity.

Depolarization is a shift in electrical charge distribution among cells. Chemical changes that leads to actual death of brain begin with depolarization of brain cells. As the depolarization spreads across the brain and final wave of electrical activity travels through brain, it is called "spreading depression". According to researchers this "spreading depression" shuts down the brain completely. Once this condition has occurred then even restarting the heart no longer works, as damage to the brain becomes irreversible.

Where this research will be used ?
This research can play a crucial role in reviving a person who has just passed away due to heart failure. It can also help in such organ transplants where blood supply to brain needs to be stopped for a very short period of time.

How does a person feel when his heart stops but brain is not dead ?
Collecting such experiences is a major part of such medical researches. Such researches of some previous decades reported experiences like flashes or tunnels of light, which were anecdotal in nature. Such experiences are collected from such patients who revived after medical intervention minutes after their heart stopped beating. In some recent researches patients reported peaceful, fearful or feeling being dragged under water. Some survivors reported hallucinations, while some heard their own death being declared by doctors. Most of such memories remain only for a short time, but some survivors can recall all conversation that occurred between doctors and nurses while trying to resurrect him/her.

Note: Some experts believe that a healthy person can revive even hours after death. But in such cases there are chances of substantial amount of brain damage.

How our Fear and Negative thoughts make us Diseased

Most of our diseases are result of our reaction to events and circumstances that happened in our life. Some bad events, bad memories and bad feelings hurt us from inside and make us sick. Its not that pollution and contaminated food are not responsible for diseases. They are ! But they affect us only when we are susceptible to them through lower immunity caused by a number of other factors. These other things include our thinking and feelings. Feeling like fear and negative thoughts affect us badly, while positive thoughts and feeling of happiness/strength make us healthy.

Only 2 to 25% diseases can be blamed on bad environment and bad genes.

Two identical twins have same set of genes, but later in their life they may suffer from different diseases, even if they live in the same locality. Different lifestyle and food habits can be blamed for that but different thought process also plays a major role.

Bad Genes are not that Bad !

Do you know that all of our body cells have same DNA (means same genes). But some cells are in shape of muscles, some skin, some neurons, some hairs and some blood. If all of them have same DNA, they why do they have different shape and features. It is because of different Gene Expression. Just having same genes does not mean that the outcome will be same. Same genes in different types of cell have different gene expression, which results in different shape and behavior of that cell. Similarly same genes in different generations can result in different gene expression. Even bad genes need bad environment to get activated. So bad genes are not that bad unless you provide them with adequate environment that they need to express themselves.

Our Thoughts can Activate Bad Genes

Yes ! Every thought that comes in our brain trigger some electrical and chemical changes in our body. It can result in triggering bad genes resulting in some diseases as well. Every thought that that comes in our brain results in some reaction, either in term of words or physical action. But when see this process in terms of brain, then there are chemical changes and hormonal changes.
For example when we get intimate with some one, then it is our thought process that stimulates our brain-body and our body starts to get ready for love making. During that process several hormonal changes occur within seconds, the blood pressure rises and breathing becomes fast without any physical exertion.
Similarly every positive and negative thought triggers some changes inside our body. All of them can't be recognized instantly from outside but from inside something happens over the time. Our whole personality is created by our thoughts, which are sometimes beyond control. These thoughts decide who we are and whats happening inside our body.
You must have heard about laughter-therapy. If you try to understand that then you will find that here we utilize the power of positive thought process to make a person healthy. Similarly if a person starts to think about diseases only then later or sooner the person will get affected by some disease.

How our Fear can make us Diseased ?

Fear or Negative thoughts have visible effect on our body when intensity of such thoughts is high. For example a sudden instance of very much fear can make you sweat, increase your heartbeat and improve your listening ability to such an extent that you can hear your own heartbeat. It is because our brain makes our body ready for flight or fight response, when it feels some danger to the body. Fear is good only if there is some real danger near you, as it can protect you from that danger. But unnecessary fear, even in small amounts, can make you diseased over the time. If your blood pressure and heartbeat always remain elevated due to fear then sooner or later you will develop some cardiovascular disease.
There are several types of fear that can affect a person. Some of the common examples of long term fear are given below.
Fear of Diseases: It is common now-a-days as people believe that some diseases are in their genes as their parents had it. But as we told you earlier that there is no need to be fearful, as no bad genes can affect you unless you provide them with adequate environment to activate them. In some rare cases some people are so much fearful of diseases that they don't even go outside or shake hands with people in order to keep themselves away from possible contact with germs and bacteria, which turns out to be a psychological illness in itself. If you have also got some fear of diseases then get rid of it, as diseases test our immune system and make it stronger by developing resistance to a number of other germs.
Fear of loosing someone: Sooner or later everybody looses someone close. So instead of being fearful of that, prepare yourself for every condition that you may face in future. Never be so much dependent on one person, that his/her absence make you paralyzed. Loving someone and being completely dependent on someone are two different things. So love people but get dependent on them. Fear of loosing someone often comes due to dependency. Live life fully without such fears, else you won't be able to enjoy the moment that you have got at present.
Fear of Failure: It affects most of the people at some point in life. You must understand that failure is part of life. Nobody can succeed without getting some failures. You must remove the word "failure" from your vocabulary. People either succeed or they get a lesson for their next task. You you take failure as a positive approach to find out your weak points then one day you will definitely succeed.
Fearful memories: Some traumatic events in our life can leave sharp impressions in our mind that can cause fear for years. For example, a person who met with an accident while driving his car on a foggy morning and listening to his favorite music track, can get fearful later in life while driving a car or listening to that music track or just watching fog. Such fears can be removed by attending some therapy sessions.

How Negative thoughts make us diseased ?

Every negative thought generated in our mind affect the body. Always being worried about something can shorten your life. Being worried causes stress, which can lead to several diseases over the time. Negative thoughts causes stress which releases the stress hormone Cortisol. Cortisol is good in short term but not in long term. Overabundance of cortisol results in suppression of digestive system, immune system and reproductive system. It is a reason behind stressful couples unable to conceive. Long term negative thoughts and stress leads to digestive problems and weaker immune system. A weaker immune system is an open invitation to diseases and shortening of life. Even if life is not shortened, then quality of life is affected, as an unhealthy body is itself a burden.
Living a stressful life can lead to hypertension, sleep problems, weight gain, memory problems and depression. Depression is something which can lead to more severe negative thoughts and make some people suicidal.

How to get rid of fear and negative thoughts ?

Be self dependent: It removes most of the fear that may be residing inside you.
Stay fit: A healthy looking body gives you enough confidence that you can beat any disease.
Be Happy: Being happy is the best organic medicine that one can have to stay fit. How to be happy is your choice. Some people like to play with kids to be happy, while some like to engage in some hobby. Just give some of your precious time to some activity that makes you happy.
Practice Meditation: It empowers your mind for positive thinking and helps in generating positive thoughts and getting rid of any type of fear. It also helps in getting rid of thought process that happen unnecessarily.
Try to forgive people: Our anger hurt us more than anybody else. So try to forgive people for their silly mistakes. Once you forgive a person, then its not just you who will feel better from inside, the other person will also feel sorry for what he/she has done. Most of our negative thoughts start from our anger. As we get angry on our parents, kids, colleagues, relatives or society, several negative thoughts are generated inside our brain. These negative thoughts in long term hurt us more than anyone else. Even if our forgiveness does not change them, but that forgiveness can help us saving ourselves from a number of diseases. Note: This forgiveness should be a part of your personality only for small mistakes of others that happen unintentionally, but when it comes to serious criminal offences then it can't be forgiven.

Do you think that you think a lot !

The mind of a normal human being go through 20,000 – 80,000 thoughts/day, which means 1500 – 3,300 thoughts per hour. Some of you might be thinking that they don't really think that much but this count is estimated after a lot of research. The count of thoughts may vary from person to person but even the least thinking person thinks a lot in reality. We often assume that if a person talks less the he/she thinks less, but in most of the cases it is just opposite. Why do we think so much ? And even if we think that much, do those thoughts change into actions ?
Our mind is a butterfly that keeps wandering on flowers of thoughts in an unpredictable manner. Only difference is that speed of our mind is much higher.
Most of the thoughts that come in our mind are useless and unimportant. A certain part of our thoughts change into reality after a lot of analysis by our brain. Our thoughts make us and create our whole personality. Most of our thoughts are not even worth sharing. Our thoughts accompany us everywhere irrespective if we are in crowd or alone. Our thoughts follow us even when we dress up, eat, exercise, walk, talk, drive, cook, work or have a bath.

Here are some facts about our thinking process
  • Thinking is not a conscious process, as most of the thinking takes place unconsciously.
  • When we are anxious or worried then our thinking process become so fast that we may start feeling tired even without any physical activity.
  • Even while reading this article you are moving your eyeballs after a lot of electrical impulses inside your brain. Even conscious or unconscious action of your body is made after a thought.
  • Every thought in your brain can't be changed into sentence. Every thought can't be verbalized.
  • Sometimes too much thinking slows us down in the real work that we were doing.
  • Our thinking affects the works we do and the works we do affect our thinking as well. So if you want to change the way you think, it is better to indulge yourself in some work that can keep your mind busy in itself and don't let your mind divert towards the topic that you want to avoid.
Education is not the learning of facts, but training the mind to think.
- Albert Einstein
When we talk to someone, our mind keeps commenting inside our brain and our mouth speaks only the selected thought which is most appropriate to talk. Even when we are just hearing to someone, thoughts related to that talk keep our brain occupied. Sometimes our thinking can be so deep that we can even visualize scenes inside our brain, and don't really see whats happening in front of our eyes. Sometimes we get stuck on one sentence or thought so much that we start thinking about that one thing and not even hear any further talk actually happening, and then suddenly realize that we have missed the real talk.

Do you think that you can stay on one thought for more than 10 seconds? Just think about anything and try not to be distracted from that one thought. Every inhale or exhale of yours will try to distract you to jump from one thought to another. You can never stay on one thought unless you are in mood to fool yourself. But if you are doing something that you like then you may stay longer but several thoughts related to that same thing may keep occupying your mind. However practitioners of meditation techniques can decrease the count of thoughts and keep themselves more calm than others.

How to witness your thoughts ?
Just try to watch the thoughts coming in your mind, it is not as hard as we assume. People who practice meditation often practice to witness their thoughts. While doing so, they often try to keep it on one thought. Experienced practitioners of meditation techniques like Yoga say that main objective of their practice is to attain "samadhi", which is a stage where one can attain a stage where no though occupies the brain.

It is our thinking process that make us human. Either we call it mind or brain, thinking process inside it is the basic reason behind our supremacy over other species. Our brain has evolved so much only due to the thinking process.

Are Hallucinations something real or fake ?

Those who have it feel that they are real, but others think they are fake. Apart from medical community, some people have created a completely distinct theory of watching ghosts or souls in the name of hallucination. Before we put some light on the topic of hallucination, you must know the difference between real and fake. Whatever we see, if others agree with the same view then it is real, but if others don't see what we see then it is fake. However this definition sometimes gets wrong. This article will change the way you think the reality is.

We are slave of our senses !
Brain is a super computer, analyzing all sensory information to create a video with sound, smell and 3D view. Our brain integrates the input that it get through eyes, ears, nose and combines these sensory inputs to tell us about conditions outside body. Actually it is our brain that creates the images, as our eyes are just a machine to transfer the light information from outside to our brain. There is a huge processor in our brain that analyzes that information.

Our brain can cheat us very easily !
Our brain is not just a processor, but it has also got a very large hard disk, which is beyond your imagination. Every image, every sound and every smell stored in it can be utilized by it. Even a slight smell of something can make you remember a dish that you ate decades ago. That is the power of brain, which can easily cheat us. Sometimes our fear can make brain create projections of unreal things in the real life view. Just as an animated character interacts will actual actors in a Hollywood movie. What type of characters it can make depends on your imagination power.

Our dreams are also hallucination!
Yes, it is true. Our dreams are also hallucination, the difference is just that we watch them while sleeping. In our dreams we rarely suspect that it is fake. During dreams our brain creates a full HD video of events and sometimes we even remember the details after waking up. Dreams make full usage of brain database to create scenes of our interest or our fear. It can make you fly with your arms as your wings and make you jump as if you are doing it on moon. It can also create dangerous creatures that you have never seen, with teeth of a lion, face of a man, feet of a horse and tail of a monkey. You may want to know some amazing facts about sleep and dreams.

If we watch dreams with open eyes and we can't distinguish the difference between real and unreal then it is hallucintion.

People often misunderstand hallucinations as watching a ghost, whom only they can see. Instead of falling prey to such thinking, one should consult a psychiatrist or a neurologist to get the cause diagnosed. Some of the most common causes are listed below.

What causes hallucination ?

  • Illegal Drugs : Some illegal drugs can create hallucinations, which are so strong that some people jumped from balconies believing that they can fly. 
  • Some legal drugs: Even some legal medication used to treat conditions like parkinson’s disease, depression, psychosis, and epilepsy can cause hallucination.
  • Lack of sleep : Enough sleep is a basic necessity of our body. Continuous lack of sleep can make our brain work in an unexpected way, which can create hallucinations as well. Sleeping too short or too long can affect your health.
  • Mental Illness: Disease like Schizophrenia, dementia, and delirium can cause hallucinations.
  • Some trauma : Some horrible event in real life can sometimes make brain create hallucinations of such even again.
  • Withdrawal Symptoms: Some heavy addicts of alcohol when trying to withdraw it can face hallucinations as a withdrawal symptoms. 

Treatment of Hallucination depends on the cause, so finding an expert can get you a better treatment for this medical condition.

Sometimes people misunderstand some diseases as hallucination. There is one such disease named Prosopagnosia, where a person can't remember faces, and the worst thing is that sometimes the patient standing in front of mirror don't recognize himself and treats himself as someone else (most probably ghost).

Do Mathematics Improve your Brain Capability !

You must have heard that mathematical puzzles improve your brain. A number of people even try it in their daily lives. But does it actually help ? Do mathematical puzzles really improve your brain or it is just a myth. Some people believe that you can't do maths beyond your brain capability. Here we will try to find that what is the truth behind this phenomena.

Math is root of many other subjects and it is used widely in every scientific study. Physics, Chemistry and Computer Sciences need basic knowledge of mathematics. Being good in maths can get you good grades in other subjects as well, but the opposite is also true. Solving maths puzzles and equations stimulates our brain. But up to what extent it improves brain is being researched.

Interest in the Key

Good thing about maths is that if you are interested in it, then it can be your friend and entertain you for hours. Those who like to solve mathematical puzzles know what i am talking about. Even a sudoku puzzle can make hours flyby.

  • Some researches have found that maths can improve your logical skills
  • But it improves it especially during the school days. Kids can reap the best benefit out of it.
  • Adults can also get those benefits only if they have interest in it. Solving maths puzzles just to improve your brain, without any interest in it, wont help you.

How much you enjoy maths matters the most. Taking it as can burden can cause adverse effect and cause stress.

A few years ago people used to think that video games are better exercise for brain as it stimulates the brain eye cordination. But now researchers have found that even simple mathematical problems can stimulate both left and right hemispheres of the frontal lobe, which is far better than any video game.  left hemisphere of our brain is used for methodical stuff like maths, while right hemisphere is used for creative thinking. Solving maths problems stimulates both portions, thus exercising a wide part of brain. It means that maths can improve your creative ability, which is a necessary quality of an advanced brain.

Some experts believe that indulging in mathematical activities at an elder age keeps you away from ageing related degradation of brain.  It also improves you ability to manage money and other household work. So if you want to keep your brain young at an elder age, then keep solving mathematical puzzles (but with interest).

Mental exercises are somehow different from physical exercise. We can't stimulate neurons in our brain with physical stimulation, instead we need something logical to work upon to stimulate them. Just like stimulation of muscle cells improves physical strength, similarly stimulation of neurons improve the way our brain works.

Algebra, Statistics, Probability Calculations and Geometry are some of the famous branches of mathematics. If you try to find, then you can easily find something of your interest. Mathematical puzzles are available in all these branches. If you try to solve them, then most probably you will find something to get interested.

Do You Find it Difficult to Recognize Someone ! Face Blindness

Just like color blindness, where one can't distinguish colors correctly, face blindness is a condition where one can't distinguish between faces. It is a type of autism known as Prosopagnosia or facial agnosia. There is no defect in the eyes of people suffering from this disease as they can see objects perfectly, but just can't recognize faces. To understand this fact, just ask yourself if you can distinguish between faces of two monkeys of similar stature. Most probably the answer will be no, as your brain is not designed to distinguish their faces. Similarly some people can't distinguish between human faces as some part of their brain don't process that information.

How do our brain recognize faces ?

Our brain analyses and stores the information about different facial features, such as nose, eyes, color of eyes, cheeks, skin color, hair style, color of hair and then store all of that information as set to recognize a face. Even voice of a person is stored with its face in our brain to recognize him / her. Even if some features don't match next time due to makeup, haircut or hair color then our brain use remaining features to match the face with stored faces in its database. We even use this feature to recognize blood relatives of a person. For example sometimes you can easily distinguish if a kid is son/daughter of a particular person just by looking at his/her facial features.
Some people come to know that they are suffering from Face Blindness only when they read about it in any science journal. Suddenly they realize that they can't recognize faces of characters in a movie or faces of their co-workers.
Do people suffering from Face Blindness, use voice to recognize people ?
However you may find it possible, but people suffering from Prosopagnosia (Face Blindness) find it difficult to recognize voices. Inability to recognize voices is called phonagnosia, where one person can't distinguish between familiar and unfamiliar voices. It is because the portion of our brain which recognizes our faces is also responsible for voice recognition.
According to a study one in every 50 is suffering from Prosopagnosia. The severity of condition may vary. Most of them remain unaware that it is a medical condition and feel that their memory is getting weak.
How does Prosopagnosia occur in some people ?
The problem of face blindness either occurs in the childhood or occur as a result of brain injury or trauma. Sometime an unrelated brain surgery can also also result in prosopagnosia. Researches are still going on to find if face blindness is due to lack of some connections or due to inability to use connections that are available. Fusiform gyrus is a part of brain held responsible for face blindness. Clotting of blood in this area of brain during a stroke can also result in face blindness.
People suffering from Face Blindness often live in fear that some important person in their life might feel unimportant, if he/she don't get recognized by him/her. Several other social consequences can occur as result of non-recognition or mis-recognition.
How do people suffering from Prosopagnosia distinguish people ?
People suffering from Prosopagnosia use alternative ways to recognize people. The take help of hair style, walking style, body language, height and clothes to identify a person.
Worst part of Prosopagnosia is when you mistake yourself as someone else in mirror, and then realize after sometime that its really you.
When it comes to treatment, sometimes it may get resolved on its own but sometimes don't. If it doesn't then you may need to find some alternative ways to recognize a person.
Note: Prosopagnosia in kids often results in shy behavior as they find themselves unable to recognize people.

Evolution of Human Diet and Human Brain

Human Diet has changed a lot during past few million years and some major changes were made just few thousand years ago after evolution of agriculture. But does those changes have any impact on development of our brain. Human are the best race on earth and ruling the planet only due to superior brain. Nutrition plays an important role for our health and brain, and understanding the evolution of human diet can help us better understand this topic.

There is a belief that we are not evolved to eat what we are eating today. Here we will try to evaluate that how much of such belief is valid. A few scattered tribes of nomadic hunter-gatherers are still living on our planet and they are still using the same diet as their ancestors did thousands of years ago. Researches on these people found that they don't develop high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, or cardiovascular disease. Does it mean that diet of those nomadic hunters is still best for us ?

Evolution of Human Diet

  • From Stone-age (2.5 Million Years ago) to prior to Agricultural Revolution (10,000 Years ago) all humans evolved to eat food collected by hunting and fishing. [1]
  • Our direct ancestor Homo erectus used to cook meat using fire around 1 million years ago. [2]
  • Neanderthals evolved from Homo erectus around 250,000 years ago used to spice up their diet with herbs. [2]
  • According to a controversial hypothesis by primatologist Richard Wrangham, 1.9 Million Years ago Homo erectus were found to have very small teeth, a small body and a much larger brain. There changes were attributed to cooked food. According to Richard Wrangham, Homo Sapiens could not have been formed without cooked food. [2]
  • Dairy products, beans and cereal grains were introduced into our diet after invention of cooking and agriculture.
  • According to some researchers, apes (who are considered our direct ancestors) used to depend on plant based diet only. Evolution towards human species started when they started eating calorie rich meat. It made their gut smaller and brain got sufficient energy to grow bigger over time. [1]
  • Agriculture was developed around 10,000 years ago and we started to grow crops. [1]

Why did humans started agriculture ?

  • Agriculture provided us a reliable source of food, that we can store for years.
  • It gave us relief from risky hunting schedule.
  • Cooking made cultivated vegetarian food easily digestible and made us extract enough energy from that.
  • It made humans settle at a location instead of roaming all over and grow their families.
  • After evolution of agriculture the birth cycle get reduced to 2.5 years from 3.5 years, which increased human population.
  • Agriculture made humans a social animal.
  • It gave us sufficient time and opportunity to develop other skills which evolved our intelligence.
  • Most of the scientific developments in human history happen only after evolution of agriculture. So it must be the key.

In the process of evolution humans have changed their diet a lot from veg to non-veg and then back to a combination of both. Now humans are eating a wide variety of food. We have got both types of teeth which suits both veg and non-veg diet. Instead of giving logic to say that our diet is better, we should understand that humans developed due to these changes in diet and we are fit to eat any type of diet, depending on what is available around us. You can't expect a person living on poles to survive on vegetarian diet as it is not available there.

Note: Today no vegetarian is dying due to lack of nutrition and they are getting sufficient calories to power up their brains. Non-vegetarians have got their own logic and vegetarians have their own logic to prove their diet better. But the truth is that we eat what our families have eaten from past few generations. Even if you tell someone that their genes tell that their ancestors were nomadic hunters, he/she won't start eating like them. It is because our present beliefs, religion and emotions won't allow us do that.


Can our Brain turn Genes ON and OFF as per need

Our Genes make us and decide a number of physical traits of our body. But genes do much more than just deciding our height and color of eye. Some genes makes us resist from some diseases while some make us prone to them. All of our body cells contain same set of genes, but still brain cell looks different from muscle cells. It is due to the fact that some genes are turned ON in one type of cell while different set of genes are turned ON in other.

When a gene is turned ON, it produces certain proteins which are used by body for some specific task. This process of generation of proteins is called Gene Expression.

Recently some researchers focused their research on a capability of our body to turn genes ON and OFF depending on the need of body. The process of turning genes ON and OFF is called Gene Regulation. Some diseases can be controlled if we can turn genes ON and OFF through some medicines. It is a topic of in-depth research to find how only genes in cells of a specific organ can be turned ON and OFF treat a disease. It is utilizing capability of our own body to treat a disease.

How Genes Work

Our DNA is a group of 23 pairs of chromosomes, which are home of the genes. According to an initial estimate our genes can create more than one million different proteins. RNA copies the protein code from DNA and employs the cell to create a protein. Some non-coding RNA, which are not used in protein synthesis are employed to tell these proteins where to go and what to do. This process not only creates our body but also helps in maintaining it. This process in in the root of all complex process of our body. We can't even "think", if this process don't happen in our body.

Brain and Genes

We the humans have got around 20,000 genes in our body. One-third of these genes are always active in our brain, which makes us what we are. They make us how we move, think, feel and react. Proteins developed by genes in brain cells make them able to communicate with each other. Genes active in our brain are responsible for our whole personality.

Even two identical twins will have different personality, in spite of the fact that they have got identical DNA and Genes. It is because our gene expression differs. This difference in  gene expression is due to our different experiences of life. No two people can have similar experiences, even if they grow up in similar atmosphere. The air we breathe, the TV show you watch, the people you speak to, the game you play, the subject you study, the diet you eat, the diseases you suffered from, the physical activities you do, changes your gene expression. No matter how similar we look, our brain is different from inside, as our gene expression in different. Our experience in real life can turn some genes OFF and turn some other genes ON. That's why some childhood experiences can impact the behavior of a person for lifetime. Even the experiences that we face in mother's womb can affect our genes, as most of our brain develops during those nine months.

Can our brain turn genes ON and OFF as per need ?
You may say that our brain turns genes ON and OFF as per need, but the truth is that our brain is itself made by these genes. Genes can regulate how our brain work. However normal metabolic activities are controlled by our brain, and some visible changes in our body are always controlled by brain. Our brain might be responsible for Gene Regulation in other parts of body.

Some experts believe that diseases like Diabetes and Blood Pressure can occur due to both genetic and environmental risk. If you have understood genes in depth then you would agree with the fact that our environment can change gene expression and regulate it. Here the term environment means both our diet and lifestyle.
If a born genius does not get an environment to nurture his/her talent, then the genes responsible for making him/her genius will get suppressed and not express their full potential. So a good environment is must for human development.

Conclusion : What i have understood as per my grasping power about genes is that our environment controls it, not just our brain. So a better environment can lead to better health as the bad environment changes our gene expression and make us suffer from different diseases.

Do we really use just 10% of our Brain ? Myth vs Fact !

A number of people believe that humans just use 10% of their brain on average. Those who have have higher IQ might have crossed this average percentage. A normal person would easily believe this theory, as we have a tendency to believe in super humans with super intelligence, and it is not possible if all of use 100% of our brain. Else there will be no difference between a normal person and Albert Einstein. But the truth about this theory is totally different.

Do we really use just 10% of our Brain ?

Homo Sapiens (or today's Man kind) is made after evolution of millions of years. In this process of evolution we got some new abilities as per necessity and also lost some feature if they were of no use any more. We are still evolving today but the it is not visible in one generation or two, it takes thousands of years to notice any visible effect. Today we have a perfectly balanced body and every organ has a use according to present environment. If you believe this theory then you must agree think twice before agreeing to "10% of brain" theory.

How may we get a brain 10 times the necessity. It is simply a wrong fact. Those who found it, either did some wrong analysis or believed in the fact that we are successors of some alien species that came to earth a long time ago and we are yet to know full potential of our brain.

Real Science is that that believe on facts, not on any preconceived notions. A number of people keep believing in the 10% of brain theory without questioning it.

From where do we get this 10% of brain theory ?
Before we answer this question you must know that The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research did a survey in 2013 and found that 65% Americans believe that just 10% of our brain is used by us in a lifetime. However now this brain usage percentage has increased to 35% in some cases but still this myth is surviving and will not come to an end anytime soon.
Timeline of origin of 10% brain theory

  • Harvard psychologists William James in 1890 told audiences that people only meet a fraction of their full mental potential, which was taken as a plausible clause by educated people of that time.
  • In 1929 a book "Mind Myths: Exploring Popular Assumptions About the Mind and Brain" was published which contained a chapter on 10% brain myth.
  • In 1936, American writer Lowell Thomas added a falsely precise percentage and said that Professor William James used to say that humans use just 10% of their brain.
  • In the 1970s, psychologist and educator Georgi Lozanov proposed a teaching method called suggestopedia with a belief in its base that humans use just 5 to 10% of their mental capability.
  • Some people also believe that in late 19th century and beginning of 20th Century when early brain researches were going on, scientists were unable to find the functions of a large part of brain. It lead to a misunderstanding that only 10% of brain is used by humans.

 Today the truth is known that 100% brain is used during a day. However it is possible that during one particular task only 10% brain is active. But a large percentage of population still thinks that we use just 10 to 35 percent of our brain.

Facts that will make you believe that we use 100% of our brain.

  • The very first fact is that we evolved and got only that much capability which is necessary. Getting a brain with 10 times of normal capability is something unnecessary and impossible to develop under the normal biological process of evolution.
  • Death during childbirth was often associated with large skull size. If our brain is really unnecessarily large then we should have lost it by natural selection and mortality rate during child birth would have been less.
  • Every person with a brain damage (either accidental or stroke) always loose some capability due to loss of a part of brain. However some lucky people may get their lost capability back due to neuroplasticity if the that was not a major brain damage.
  • Some recent researches based on brain scans confirmed that all parts of brain remain active all the time. Some parts remain more active during a particular task, but we can't take any part of brain as non functional.

Every part of brain has got a function, either physical, mental or emotional. Some parts of brain just handle our internal metabolism. All functions of brain are really very hard to know as some of these parts make us think, make us dream, make us plan. Our brain can take us to a scene decades before and can also make us think of that future when we will not be here. Whatever we look, we are much more than that. The fact that we don't utilize our full potential is true, but nature has granted us with power to do much more in our life with a brain of three pounds.

After reading this article you must stop believing that extra 90% brain can give you psychic powers some day, which is falsely advertised in a number of sci-fi movies. Your views on this article are most invited in the comments section. 

Human Brain vs Computers - Something Unbelievable

You won't be same after reading this. Nature has granted us with a immensely powerful computer fitted in a very tiny space with very less power consumption. You can't even utilize its full capability in several lifetimes. The more we use our brain the more it learns and become more efficient by practicing the same task again. If you want to know the power of your brain compared to modern computers in a terminology that you understand then read this complete article.

What is there in our brain ?

  • Our brain have 80 to 100 billion neurons.
  • Same amount of Neuroglia, also called glial cells. These cells protect and insulate neurons, provide nutrition, remove dead neurons and destroy pathogens.
  • Neurons are found in 26 different sizes.
  • Size of neurons varies from 4 microns (.004 mm) to 100 microns (.1 mm). Their length may vary from few millimeters to few feet.
  • 400 miles of Capillaries to provide blood and nutrition to them.
  • Each neuron makes 5000 to 10000 connections with other neurons.
  • So there are 500 to 1000 trillion connections in our brain. 

Brain compared to Computers

Even the best computer in world can't reach the capability of brain. However you may not fit a pendrive in your skull to store some movies in it, but your brain can remember things faster than any super computer. The memory of our brain has the capability to store much more data than any super computer on earth till now.

  • Memory Capacity of Brain:  According to Paul Reber, Professor; Director of Brain, Behavior, & Cognition at Northwestern University, our brain can store upto 2.5 Petabyte (which is one million GB). This much memory is enough to play continuous video on TV for 300 Years.
  • Processing Speed: A neuron can fire upto 200 times per second. For 86 billion neurons it makes 17.2 trillion action potentials. According to Dr. Joe Dispenza, Neuroscientist, our brain processes 400 Billion bits of information per second, but yet we are aware of 2,000 only. All of our senses send 11 million bits of data per second to the brain but it can process only upto 60 bits of data per second. It is possible only if you compress 11 million bits into just 60 bits (just like we make zip files in computers). Such compression technology is not yet possible for man made computers.
  • Power consumption: If we use the same memory as our brain and same processing speed in a computer then it will use 1 gigawatt of power, which will need a nuclear power plant. But when it comes to our brain, it uses less than 20 watt of electricity in the form of electrical impulses between neurons. Our brain is just 2% of our body weight but consumes 20% of our calories and 25% of oxygen. In resting state our body needs 1300kcal of energy which is equal to 63W of energy. 20% of this consumption is just 12.6W . So 12.6 watt can be stated as power consumption of brain. This much efficiency is impossible to imagine in any man made machine.
  • Serial Processing and Parallel processing: Some researches found that our left brain do the serial processing tasks while right brain do the parallel processing tasks.

Interesting facts about Brain

These fasts will make you believe more in superiority of human brain compared to any computer.
Cognitive Reserve (brain's cache memory): It increases in size with a person keeps learning new things all over his life. When such person takes rest from busy life after retirement, his or her cognitive reserve remains same and his efficiency in mental tasks remains much better than the people of similar age group.
Neuroplasticity: It is a feature of our brain to learn new things and repair its circuits in case of a damage due to accident or stroke. Previously it was thought that brain can't repair it self after a certain age, but now we know that brain can repair itself through neuroplasticity.

A computer can be programmed to do one particular task much better than a human brain. For example a supercomputer can beat a chess grandmaster, but the same supercomputer can't store visual memories, language skills, cooking skills, thinking ability and most important emotions. Human brain is a capable to control the human body to do any physical or mental task or a combination of both. So these two things are not comparable at all. Man often try to challenge nature, but nature is something to be known, not something to beat. We need to learn a lot from the nature. Thats why we call it mother nature.

Neuroplasticity - The key to Brain Fitness

Previously it was believed that brain develops only during childhood and no changes can occur inside brain after reaching adulthood. But now this concept is found wrong after we found about "Neuroplasticy", an important feature of human brain to makes changes in its circuit according to the needs of a person. It not only helps in learning and mastering a skill but also in recovering from a brain injury. Once you read more about neuroplasticity, you will be amazed to find that you have got one of the most amazing self-learning, self-repairing and self-cleaning computer in your brain whose learning and remembering power is much more than what you think.

What is Neuroplasticity ?

Our brain is huge collection of neuron cells. These neuron cells make connections between themselves, just like a circuit in an electronic chip. Different circuits are made and dedicated for different tasks. The more you need a circuit, the more easily accessible it becomes. What ever you learn intentionally or unintentionally is stored in your brain and is recalled when necessary. The least used or unnecessary memories either remains least accessible or some other circuit is formed using those neurons. The more you use a circuit, the more powerful and efficient it becomes. A mathematician can do complex calculations just by using his brain while a normal person world need calculator for that. But the same mathematician may not play a guitar, while a professional guitar player can do magic with that. Some skills need just our eyes, mouth and brain while a different skill need coordination between our ears, hands and brain. Different circuits in brain are developed and made efficient till we remain alive as per our daily needs.

How to utilize neurolasticity to keep your brain fit ?

You must have heard the proverb "Practice makes a man perfect". It implies perfectly on your brain. The more you work with your brain, the more efficient it becomes. Its learning ability increases with its usage. It makes you more efficient in a task, if you practice it several times. You can become  a master of any language, any subject, any dance, any music, anything just by practicing it. The more curious you remain all over your life, the better brain you will have by the time your life will come to an end. You attitude towards learning new skills will only help you at an old age. Those skills that you learn in your life might not always help you in your life, but they will exercise your brain. Your brain neurons or the circuits won't get rust and they will be used whenever necessary in your life only if you keep using them.

Stress and Neuroplasticity

Stress can kill neurons and the connection between them can also be damaged. So it is necessary to remain out of depression and stress. It is possible with a good lifestyle, balanced diet and learning attitude. Too much thinking about negative topics of your life can make you depressed or stressed. Try not to fall prey to depression by keeping yourself busy at such times. The neuroplasticity feature of your brain can be paused or damaged by depression or stress. Due to the same reason you can't learn new skills if you are in stress.

How neuroplasticity help you recover from brain damage ?

Sometimes people loose some of their brain functions due to accidental damage or medical conditions like stroke, which damages some neurons or the connection between them. Some of these brain functions might be recovered through neuroplasticity. It happens naturally with a little patience and practice. When we practice again and again, our brain makes a new circuit with the help of remaining neurons for that lost function. It can happen only if there is no damage to the target organ and the nervous system.

Nature has granted us with enormous possibilities, we just need a little dedication and practice to make ourselves perfect for any task.

How to Exercise your Brain (Increase Memory and Thinking Skills)

Usually we think that exercise are only meant for our body. But do you know that physical workout is also beneficial for your brain. Physical workout not only increase the blood and oxygen supply to muscles in the body but also to the brain. It increases the memory retention power of brain. Always remember that a healthy brain resides in a healthy body.

Here we are going to mention some easy tings that you can do exercise your brain. These exercise don't include dumbbells, but some thing that we do in our daily routine and make our brain strong. These exercises increase our memory and thinking skills. Here are some brain exercises.

 1). Sleep Properly

Sufficient and proper sleep recharges your brain. If you don't sleep properly then your brain can give the optimum performance.

2). Healthy Relationships

Healthy Relationships makes your brain happy. And a happy brain can work better. Its just like being tension free. You might have noticed that you work better when you are tension free. Our relatives and friends are sometimes major cause of our tensions. So try to have healthy relationships with family and friends.

3). Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and Vegetables contain various minerals and nutrients which are essential from brain growth. These minerals are not present in other food items.

4). Vitamin B and Omega-3

Vitamin B helps in taking oxygen to our brain and protects our brain from free radicals. Various types of Vitamin are responsible for various brain activities. Vitamin B 3 for Brain Enhancement, B 6 for manufacturing of neurotransmitters, B 12 for overall health of Brain. Omega 3 Fatty Acids are also known to be beneficial for brain health.

5). Laughter (Reduce Stress)

Laugh at Yourself, it reduces your stress level. However you can laugh at any thing (its always better). Personally i have subscribed to a comedy channel. Laughter reduces stress and helps your brain in thinking better.

6). Meditation

Meditation is known as best natural way to increase your brain power. Some meditation experts say that normal person use only 13% of its brain. But this percentage can be increased by meditation, which results in improvement in all types of skills.

7). Red Wine in Moderation

Red wine contain antioxidants and chemicals that protect our brain. 1 glass daily for women and 2 glass for men is a good amount for your brain.

8). Cry when necessary

If you want to cry then do it when you are alone at your own place. Good crying also heals your brain and improves blood circulation in your brain.

9). Change Environment

This thing include a number of things. You should visit other cities and have fun after every six months. You may also take different routes to work. Go on a long drive whenever you feel bored. Don't go to same restaurants every time. Chane the furniture settings in your house.

These activities also exercise your brain:

  • Reading Newspaper
  • Solve Puzzles such as crosswords and Sudoku
  • Read Philosophy
  • Writing articles
  • Participating in a healthy debate
  • Learning new languages
  • Don't miss breakfast
  • Don't Overeat
  • Mimic Others
  • Morning Walk, Workout, Swimming, Running

Brain Damaging Activities that you should Stop

Brain is the most important part of body. It controls the whole body and regulates the organs and complete metabolism inside our body. Even if a part of our brain stop working properly, it will result in some disease or complete failure of some organ. Some of our daily activities do harm our body. Most of us do these activities unintentionally. We should try to stop doing these brain damaging activities.

Brain Damaging Activities that you should Stop

Missing Breakfast

Missing a breakfast means lower blood sugar at the beginning of the day. Due to low blood sugar lesser nutrients reach our brain which results in brain degeneration. If you skip breakfast regularly then you brain might be great risk.


When we eat blood and oxygen supply to our stomach increases and its reduced to other parts of body. Its also reduced to our brain as well. As long as we eat and the time till its digested, our brain activity is lowered. That the reason that we feel sleepy after having a heavy diet. But we don't always get an opportunity to sleep after a meal. If you use your brain after having a heavy diet, you are damaging your brain. Thats why over eating is dangerous for your brain. Over eating also hardens your brain arteries and damages the brain.

Smoking / Air Pollution

Both Smoking and Air Pollution reduced the oxygen supply to our brain, which is a major oxygen consumer of our body. It results in shrinking of some parts of brain and may also result in Alzheimer's Disease.

High Sugar Consumption

When sugar level is high in our body, then our body organs and brain can't absorb the proteins and other nutrients from blood properly. Thus consumption of high sugar interferes with the brain development.

Sleep Deprivation

Sleeping is a medicine for our brain. Just like every machine, it need some rest after day long working. A good sleep not only recharges its battery but also improves the memory. But if you don't sleep a minimum 6
hours sleep, then you are damaging your brain and will start loosing memory sooner or later. Our brain cells start dying if we don't sleep properly.

 Sleeping with Head Covered

This habit reduces the oxygen supply to our brain while sleeping and results in brain damage. Even if you use to have a better sleep by taking the sheet over your head, just try to get rid of this habit. You might try to use something to cover your eyes only.

Using Brain during Sickness

If you use your brain during sickness you will help it in damaging it. During Fever or Sickness our body consumes the most of the oxygen and other nutrients to fight with the disease. You brain is already in lack of oxygen and other nutrients at that time. If you use brain at that time then your will damage it.

Lack of Intellectual Talking

Intellectual talking is like an exercise for our brain. As unused machines get rust, similarly unused brain also degrades. So we should do intellectual talking to sharpen it.

Lack of Thoughts

Thinking also improves our brain. But lack of thoughts may also help in degrading its performance.