Do you know your brain is an essential part of your body for living a fuller and longer life? A healthy brain helps you solve daily life problems, communicate with the world around you, and control your body’s functions. On World Brain Health Day, let’s talk about this amazing command center of your nervous system – THE BRAIN. All About The Brain: The brain is a complex and truly amazing organ of the body involved in the maintenance of emotional, mental, and cognitive processes, regulation of normal behavior, and interpretation of movement control.
Composition Of The Brain Tissue: There are three types of cells that contribute to brain tissue composition: endothelial cells, glial, and neuronal stem cells. The brain tissue is categorized as grey matter and white matter. The grey matter is made of unmyelinated axons and neurons. White matter is made of myelinated axons that send signals to the grey matter (1). Myelin forms a kind of shield and is necessary for the transmission of signals.
Neuroplasticity: Your brain can adapt to changes to the new environment by forming new neural connections. The ability of your brain to adapt with time, store information, recover even after an injury, and master new skills is known as neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity is actually good for your brain because it can enhance your cognitive abilities, learn more things, strengthen the weak areas (2).
What Is A Healthy Brain?
A healthy brain refers to having good brain health. Your brain is healthy when it has the ability to optimize behavioral, psychological, and cognitive functioning and work well in daily life and work. However, a healthy brain demands you to be innovative in solving your problems, process information, and think strategically (3,4).
How To Maintain A Healthy Brain?
In order to keep your brain healthy, you must improve brain function and volume. There are several ways that can help you maintain a healthy brain:
- Eat A Balanced Diet: One study reported that a reduced risk of cognitive decline was associated with a high-quality Mediterranean diet (5).
- Exercise Regularly: A study published in the journal of Neurobiology of Aging reported that brain volume in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex increased with higher physical activity (6).
- Sleep Tight: According to a study already published in 2013, deterioration in the frontal cortex was seen in participants maintaining poor sleep quality. That’s why having sufficient sleep is vital for your brain (7).
- Mota B, Herculano-Houzel S. All brains are made of this: a fundamental building block of brain matter with matching neuronal and glial masses. Front Neuroanat. 2014 Nov 12;8:127.
- Demarin V, Morović S. Neuroplasticity. Period Biol. 2014 Jul 31;116(2):209–11.
- Lazar RM, Howard VJ, Kernan WN, Aparicio HJ, Levine DA, Viera AJ, et al. A Primary Care Agenda for Brain Health: A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association. Stroke. 2021 Jun 1;52(6):e295–308.
- Wang Y, Pan Y, Li H. What is brain health and why is it important? BMJ. 2020 Oct 9;371:m3683.
- Smyth A, Dehghan M, O’Donnell M, Anderson C, Teo K, Gao P, et al. Healthy eating and reduced risk of cognitive decline: A cohort from 40 countries. Neurology. 2015 Jun 2;84(22):2258–65.
- Frontiers | Shorter term aerobic exercise improves brain, cognition, and cardiovascular fitness in aging | Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience [Internet]. [cited 2021 Jul 20]. Available from: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnagi.2013.00075/full
- Sexton CE, Storsve AB, Walhovd KB, Johansen-Berg H, Fjell AM. Poor sleep quality is associated with increased cortical atrophy in community-dwelling adults. Neurology. 2014 Sep 9;83(11):967–73.