What The Latest Research Says About Brain Health

Here’s what the latest research says about the brain and what you can do to help maintain the health of your body’s most vital organ.

Even though the brain only weighs about 3 pounds, the organ is arguably the most important part of the human body. The brain allows you to think, feel, memorize, and learn. Your brain is also responsible for the way you act and react to circumstances, situations, and other stimuli you encounter on a daily basis.

Basically, your brain is responsible for all the aspects that make you human. In fact, the health of your brain can directly affect your quality of life. But high levels of stress, poor diet, anxiety, trauma, and physical injuries can impact the brain’s health. Fortunately, the brain is neuroplastic, or capable of changing. This means that your day-to-day choices can influence the health of your brain. Here’s what the latest research says about the brain and what you can do to help maintain the health of your body’s most vital organ.

Quick Facts About The Brain

The brain is a complex organ. In fact, despite years of research, there are still many mysteries that exist about the human brain. But thanks to research, scientists now understand much about the brain.

They know that the brain:

  • Is the fattest organ in the human body and that healthy fats help stabilize cell walls in the brain. This is why healthy fats such as omega-3s and omega-6s are vital aspects of brain health.
  • Requires physical rest to function properly. In fact, sleep deprivation kills brain cells.
  • Generates 12-25 watts of energy when you’re awake, which is enough to power a small light bulb.
  • Works quickly. Information moving from your arms/legs to your brain can travel anywhere from 150-260 miles per hour.
  • Benefits from exercise just as much as the body does. Aerobic exercise leads to neurogenesis or the production of neurons in parts of the brain responsible for memory and thinking.
  • Gets smaller as you age. The human brain keeps developing until you’re in your late 40s. Around mid-life the brain begins to shrink. But there’s no indication that larger brains are smarter than smaller brains.
  • Is 75% water. This means that dehydration can negatively affect brain functions.
  • Can’t actually multitask. When you feel like you’re multitasking, you’re actually quickly switching back-and-forth between different tasks rather than doing them at the same time.
  • Triples in size during the first year of life. By 2 years old, the brain is 80% developed. But the human brain doesn’t reach full maturity until 25 years of age.

Although small, the brain is a powerful organ. Unfortunately, many people take the brain’s fascinating abilities for granted. Here’s what you need to know about the health of your brain and how to maintain it.

The Latest Research On Brain Health

A healthy brain is hydrated, rested, balanced, and powerful. But as powerful as the brain is, the organ is easily affected by our lifestyle habits and choices. This means that your day-to-day habits can substantially benefit or harm your brain.

Recent research shows that:

Your brain health can determine your mental health

Most people know that mental health challenges can affect the way the brain functions, but recent research shows that poor brain health can lead to poor mental health. The study reveals that poor lifestyles that weaken brain health can also lead to mental health challenges. Luckily, healthy lifestyle choices such as exercising, limiting your caffeine intake, playing mind-teaser games, getting an adequate amount of rest, following the Mediterranean, Nordic, MIND, or DASH diets, and maintaining healthy social connections can help improve your brain health and make you less likely to experience anxiety, depression, and other mental health disorders.

Exercise can boost blood flow to the brain, improving brain health

According to a recently published study, 30 to 40 minutes of moderate exercise such as a brisk walk 3 to 5 times a week can increase the amount of blood flowing through your brain. This increased blood flow may be able to help slow and possibly prevent the onset of memory loss and dementia.

Stressed brains can trigger “broken heart” syndrome

Also known as “stress cardiomyopathy” or “takotsubo syndrome,” broken heart syndrome is a temporary but potentially deadly heart condition that weakens the heart muscle. Traditionally, scientists believed broken heart syndrome was the result of a severely stressful event such as the death of a spouse or child or a stroke or seizure. But a new study shows that highly stressed brains can also lead to broken heart syndrome. According to the study, heightened activity in the brain’s amygdala, which is responsible for the “fight or flight mode,” can trigger broken heart syndrome. This means that even after experiencing common stressors such as fear, shock, anger, an injury, or a routine medical procedure, the brain needs to be able to relax, rest, and be restored to balance and a sense of calm.

Poor gut health can negatively affect your brain health

Even though the gut is commonly associated with digestion, Dr. Maria Tapp has discovered a link between gut imbalances and brain inflammation. Because the “gut-brain” interacts with the primary brain, poor gut health can weaken your brain health and contribute to brain fog.

Another study shows that poor gut microbes may be responsible for certain brain conditions such as autism and Alzheimer’s. Fortunately, eating whole grains, probiotics, and yogurt can help realign and balance the gut, which can improve your brain’s health and functionality.

Eating citrus fruits can improve brain health

You probably already know that eating fruit is good for your health, but a new study shows that compounds in citrus fruits can protect brain tissue from damage caused by aging and underlying health conditions. These compounds, called citrus polyphenols, have anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative properties, which help kill free radical cells and help restore cognitive functionality.

Let Us Help You Restore, Improve and Maintain Your Brain’s Health

In many ways, your brain health is the key to a healthy, thriving life. Stress, poor diet, immobility, injuries, dehydration, and poor sleep habits can weaken your brain. Luckily, healthy lifestyle habits can restore, boost, and maintain the health of your brain. Nonetheless, changing your habits can be hard to do. Fortunately, our innovative, comprehensive treatment programs can help you make positive lifestyle changes. Contact us today if you’re ready to restore or boost the health of your body’s most vital organ.

Innovative, Evidence-Based Therapies

Because mental health and addiction concerns are so often interconnected, we utilize research-based approaches with evidence-based outcomes that promote overall healing and recovery.

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Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)
This low-impact magnetic stimulation activates neurons inside the brain, relieving symptoms associated with depression and anxiety.

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qEEG/Brain Mapping
Using brain scanning and readings, we create a map of our patients' brains, helping us develop more targeted and effective treatments.

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Neurofeedback
This process assists patients in visualizing their own brain functionality through continuous EEG readings.

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Spravato Therapy
We use carefully monitored doses of Spravato to help patients struggling with complex mental health disorders, including severe depression.

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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Patients use this practice to help reframe intrusive or negative thought patterns and develop coping techniques for long-term recovery.

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Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
This practice helps patients learn to regulate emotions, communicate more effectively, and process their own thoughts and feelings..

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Eye Movement Desensitization (EMDR)
Licensed and trained therapists guide patients through this technique for managing stress and anxiety on an ongoing basis.

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Individual Therapy
Patients experience one-on-one therapy sessions with a licensed therapist to provide a safe and private place to recover and heal.

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Group/Family Therapy
Patients can practice the skills and techniques they have learned in treatment with others in a safe, therapist-guided space. .
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