It can be distressing to see family members or close friends develop Alzheimer’s disease, especially since it can have dramatic effects on their memory. The memory loss could be short-term and/or long-term, and could involve forgetting names of relatives, important places and recent events. According to Deepak Chopra, there are five main myths about the brain and memory loss which can be quickly dispelled. The five main myths are as follows…

Deepak’s 5 Myths

  1. Once injured, the brain could not be repaired.
  2. The brain’s wiring could not be changed.
  3. The brain must age with the body.
  4. Your brain loses cells and never replaces them.
  5. Emotions control us, surpassing all reason and logic.

 

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Previously, medics believed that the brain, once injured, could not be repaired. However, studies through the years have proven that the neurons can work together to fix at least some of the damaged system. Neuroplasticity is the process which takes place when the brain begins to remodel itself – this happens after a head injury. New experiences and skills can help to promote this in people with or without Alzheimer’s.

Brain & Mental Exercise

Up until the mid-18th century, doctors told their patients that the brain’s “wiring” could not be changed. When Jean-Jacques Rousseau came along, he suggested that brain exercise was important for the body, just like physical exercise. It wasn’t until the mid-1900s that psychologist Karl Lashley was able to prove this, showing that the brain can constantly develop in many different ways if given the opportunity.

Another common myth suggested that the brain must age with the body, making it difficult for older people to learn new skills or remember things. However, this is mainly due to people becoming complacent once they reach a certain age and have acquired a certain level of knowledge and/or ability. If the brain remains alert and active throughout a person’s life, new synapses will form, making it easier and more enjoyable to remember and learn new things.

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Have you ever heard that your brain loses cells and never replaces them? This is a popular myth which was only shown to be untrue within the last few decades. Contrary to this belief, the number of brain cells present in a 20-year old and a 70-year old is not much different. Exercise, reading and puzzles can help to promote new cell growth in the brain.

Memory Loss and Nootropics

Even though the above list shows that we can deliberately take action on a personal level to impact our brain function in a positive way, there is a powerful nootropic that has been shown to positively affect processes in patients with impaired brain function. Oxiracetam is a nootropic which helps to enhance memory, which is why it is often given to patients of Alzheimer’s disease. It is more powerful than the popular Piracetam, yet it is considered to be very safe even in larger quantities. Users of this nootropic have reported significant improvements in cognitive functions, and often experience a boost in mental energy.

Emotions, Emotions…

The final myth is one which says our emotions (such as fear and desire) control us, surpassing all reason and logic. However, fears and other emotions can be overridden by the higher part of the brain. People experience the same fears, but some use the logical and reasonable side of the brain to make better decisions and overcome phobias. In dispelling this myth, Deepak Chopra states that we must train our brains to have more control, rather than succumbing to the lower and more emotional side.

REFERENCES
  1. G. Maina et al (1989) “Oxiracetam in the treatment of degenerative and multi infarct dementia” Neuropsychobiol. 21. 141
  2. A. Moglia et al (1986) “Activity of Oxiracetam in patients with organic brain syndrome” Clin. Neuropharmac 9, S73-S78.
  3. B. Saletu et al (1985) “Oxiracetam in the organic brain syndrome of late life” Neuropsychobiol 13, 44-52.
  4. Rozzini R, Zanetti O, Bianchetti A. Effectiveness of Oxiracetam therapy in the treatment of cognitive deficiencies secondary to primary degenerative dementia. Acta Neurol (Napoli). 1992
  5. Trovarelli G, Gaiti A, De Medio GE, Brunetti M, Porcellati G. Biochemical studies on the nootropic drug, Oxiracetam, in brain. Clin Neuropharmacol. 1986
Categories: Memory

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