Tag Archives: Medicine

Memory loss may be due to silent strokes

Not detected Cerebrovascular accidents ( stroke ) appear to be one of the causes of the deficit of memory , according to a U.S. study. This provides an additional explanation to the decline of certain cognitive abilities. And perhaps in Alzheimer’s disease

Written by Abdullah Abbadi/Blue Line News

The similarity between the hippocampus of the brain with the famous fish syngnathid is striking. Area of the brain associated with memory, the hippocampus appears to be affected by silent strokes. © Prof. Laszlo Seress, Wikipedia, cc by sa 3.0

Strokes are more common than we think. But mostly they show symptoms, affecting only a few neurons. They are called silent. Apparently they can occur from age 30 and one out of three is victimized each year from age 70. Taken individually, these strokes have little impact, but over time, the consequences can be noticed.

A study by researchers at Columbia University in New York (USA) and published in Neurology show their impact on memory.

Memory is a very complex process. One of its headquarters would be the brain hippocampus, a small structure included in the medial temporal lobe of the mammalian brain. This is where good numbers are stored with memories that can be expressed verbally (general knowledge, true stories in the past). Previous studies have argued that a small hippocampus was associated with cognitive decline.

A connection between cognitive ability and number of silent strokes

This scan shows blood flow in the brain (white) following a massive stroke, while the dark spot just above corresponds to the swelling that results. © James Heilman, Wikipedia, cc by sa 3.0

In this research, 658 healthy people aged 79 years on average were passed to MRI and were also subjected to tests of memory, language, speed of information processing and visual perception. Of these, 174 (26%) had silent strokes.

Those people were less efficient in the various intellectual tests, including those relating to memory, than their peers, regardless of the size of their hippocampus. This shows that the volume of the hippocampus is not the only data used to estimate the decline in cognitive abilities , but these cerebral infarcts do play a role.

The risk factors of stroke are the obesity accompanied by its share of cardiovascular disease , as well as the blood pressure or the cholesterol . The damage they cause, even on a small scale, are irreversible.

Adam Brickman, a co-author of the study, even believe that the implications of this discovery can go beyond the simple prevention of cognitive decline related to age naturally. ” I think we are at the beginning of a story [medical] in which [is considered] the disease contributes to cardiovascular symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease . “In any case in this direction that research will continue.

Selected Sources for further read:

ABC News published Dec 29,2011

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Meditation changes the brain links permanently

Meditation changes the brain links permanently

Picture: Inga Ivanova / Shutterstock

Frequent meditation leaves lasting mark on the activity of the brain: causing you permanent inhibits for the brain centers, fear, mental illness and attention disorders. In addition, people regular meditating, their brain areas are more closely linked to promote the conscious perception and self-control, as reported by U.S. researchers in the “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences” Magazine

“The ability of meditation that allow people in the ‘here and now’ live, is known for thousands of years,” says lead author Judson A. Brewer of Yale University. Likewise, that the regular meditation have a positive impact on health: “It helps to relieve pain, depression and anxiety disorders, smoking  and may even prevent diseases such as shingles,” says the researcher.

Now we’ve found that meditation influences especially a central network of brain cells, the so-called default mode network. Both the activity and the links in this network are often in meditator, unlike meditation newcomers.

The results according to the researchers explain , also, why regular meditator can focus in everyday life better on a current situation or task and are more mindful. Because their default mode network is permanently linked with more brain regions of working memory, the conscious control and conflict management.”The meditation experience seems to have developed a new normal state in which there are more present-oriented and less self-centered attention of rambling thoughts,” say the researchers.

Meditation in magnetic resonance tomography

In their study, the researchers investigated the brain activity of twelve persons, who for more than ten years meditating regularly, compared with the twelve meditation beginners. All test persons turned to three different meditation techniques and were examined while using functional magnetic resonance imaging. The same study was performed in a relaxed state without meditation.

“In all test series were two centers of the default mode network in the experienced MEDITITE less active than the newcomers,” the researchers write. These centers – of the middle prefrontal cortex in the frontal lobes and the posterior cingulate cortex in the posterior part of the cerebral cortex – are responsible among other things for the processing of emotions and the control of attention

Excessive preoccupation in one’s own inner world makes you sick

Excessive activity in the attenuated regions by meditation however also has a risk factor for schizophrenia, attention disorders like ADHD and anxiety disorders. “The hallmark of many forms of mental disorder is a pathological preoccupation with their own thoughts and feelings,” says Brewer.

The study has now shown that meditation influences the mechanisms underlying these disorders in the brain. “This raises the intriguing possibility that we could alleviate ADHD and other diseases targeted by such a simple and inexpensive method such as meditation,” the researchers wrote.

Abdullah Al Abbadi