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RELATION BETWEEN PHYSICAL FITNESS AND BRAIN HEALTH

Exercise affects the brain on multiple fronts. It increases heart rate, which pumps more oxygen to the brain. It also aids the bodily release of a plethora of hormones, all of which participate in aiding and providing a nourishing environment for the growth of brain cells.

Exercise stimulates the brain plasticity by stimulating growth of new connections between cells in a wide array of important cortical areas of the brain

Tips for Choosing The Right Physical Exercise

In general, anything that is good for your heart is great for your brain.

Aerobic exercise is great for body and brain: not only does it improve brain function, but it also acts as a “first aid kit” on damaged brain cells.

Exercising in the morning before going to work not only spikes brain activity and prepares you for mental stresses for the rest of the day, but also produces increases retention of new information, and better reaction to complex situations.

Regular engagement in physical activities may be protective against cognitive decline and dementia in late life.

As a consequence of rapid population aging, there is a rising prevalence of age-related neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and Parkinson’s disease (PD)

Mid-Life Physical Activity and Associations with Brain Health

Mid-life is commonly defined as the period of adulthood between the ages of 40 and 65 years.

Normal aging in mid-life is associated with a reduction in both structure and function of the brain, indeed it may be that regular engagement in PA during midlife, is important for maintenance of strong brain network connections, enhancement of neuroplasticity and reduction of vascular risk factors.

The Influence of PA on Cognition and Brain Health in Older People

Declines in cognitive function accelerate after age 60, with fluid cognitive processes such as working memory, processing speed and executive function particularly.

By the age of 60, shrinkage of gray matter occurs in the magnitude of 0.5%–1% per year in most brain regions

  • Atrophy of both gray and white matter is especially prominent in the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus; regions which are important for executive function and memory
  • Both aerobic and resistance training have demonstrated cognitive benefits in older people
  • The exercise program led to increased levels of brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). Findings of increased BDNF associated with the multimodal exercise program suggest that neurogenesis may be part of the mechanism, which underlies cognitive improvements in older people.

Impact of physical activity and Exercise in Neurodegenerative Diseases

Age-related neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer currently affect approximately 3% of the world’s population, equating to 57.5 million people.

To reduce the burden of disease attributable to these disorders, attention should be paid to optimizing early life brain development to promote life-long neuronal enrichment, and maximize neuroplasticity and cognition

Physical activity helps improve many aspects of life

  • Exercise Improves Your Executive Functions

Executive functions are your higher level thinking skills. This includes inhibitory control, task switching, attention, and goal management to name a few. These skills are important for problem solving, planning, organizing, and behavior. It’s how you function as a normal person in society.

  • Helps You Control Your Emotions

Being able to control your emotions might not seem like it’s a cognitive skill. Yes, emotions are a part of our psychological makeup. But the actual ability to control our emotions is a skill of cognitive control. Whenever you reign in an outburst of anger, or continue your day despite feelings of sadness, you are exercising emotional regulation. If you have a tendency to blow up at people or lose your calm, exercise can help you keep centred.

  • Exercise Alleviates Stress. These chemicals are associated with better cognitive functioning, alertness and elevated moods. In addition to dumping feel good chemicals into your head, it also helps purge stress hormones from your body – cortisol and adrenaline
  • Reduces Anxiety
  • Prevents Depression
  • Preventing depression is even more important than fighting it.
  • Reduces Fatigue

Some of these energized feelings could be because of the dopamine and serotonin that get released in the brain.exercise actually ramps up the creation of new mitochondria cells in the brain, which can help guard against mental fatigue.

ANTIBIOTIC RESISTANCE

By Charmi Porwal on July 18 ,2018

Magic bullet turning into dangerous threat

Use of antibiotics. Initially hailed as “magic bullets” these chemical agents are now used so often that success threatens their long-term utility. Our failure to adequately address antibiotic resistance problems may ultimately push the control of infectious disease back to pre-penicillin era.

Antibiotics

Antibiotics include agents like penicillin, tetracycline, ciprofloxacin, erythromycin and many more. Antibiotics are equated to antibacterial that either kill or inhibit the growth of bacteria

What is antibiotic resistance?

Resistance is a condition is which antibiotics fail to harm pathogens enough to cure disease. When an antibiotic is used and kills off “weak” bacteria, the resistant bacteria (superbugs) survive, reproduce, and can spread among humans and animals.

  • Resistance problems :

Each year in United States, at least 2 million people become infected with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics and at least 23,000 people die as a result.

  • The main problem leading to antibiotic resistance-
    1. is the drug prescriptions, 36% of individuals with cold and upper respiratory problems (both viral in origin) were given prescriptions for antibiotics. These prescriptions accomplished nothing other than increasing the risk of further evolution of antibiotic drug resistance.
    1. Antibiotic waste disposal problems by pharmaceutical companies.
    1. In agricultural sector, use of antibiotics for growth promotion.

    What is CRE :

    “CRE, which stands for carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, is the most fearsome family of germs because it is resistant even to last-resort antibiotics.” Klebsiella pneumoniae (associated with pneumonia) and Escherichia coli (E.coli) are both in the Enterobacteriaceae family and can become carbapenem-resistant.

    Antibiotics affecting gut flora In humans

    In the gut live one trillion bacteria, which are known as microbiota or gut flora, and that have co-evolved in symbiosis with humans. According to this study, treatment with antibiotics can alter this symbiosis from early stages of the treatment.

    Broad-spectrum antibiotics can affect the abundances of 30% of the bacteria in the gut community, antibiotics also affect the gene expression, protein activity and overall metabolism of the gut microbiota.

    Are There Side Effects of Antibiotics?

    Antibiotics can potentially cause diarrhea, soft stools, stomach upset, constipation, rash or allergic reaction.several new studies suggest that overuse of antibiotics could damage the immune system.

    How Long Does It Take to Restore Gut Health?

    A high-quality probiotic supplement is your first line of defense, as probiotics are the very beneficial bacteria that antibiotics destroy.

    Fermented foods are naturally rich in probiotics, and are an excellent way to maintain proper gut health post-antibiotic use. Combining them with a probiotic supplement after a round of antibiotics will help with healing.

    Some great and easy-to-find sources include raw sauerkraut, kimchi, plain yogurt, kefir and kombucha tea.

    Patients with irritable bowel syndrome or Crohn’s disease, however, may need longer-term support to rebuild a healthy microbiome after taking antibiotics.

    Tips on Restoring Gut Flora After Antibiotics

    1. Probiotics are the underlying key to restoring the gut microbiome following antibiotic use.

    2. For the bacteria to become reestablished in the gut following antibiotics, they must be “fed” with fiber-rich foods

    3. You may have to rebuild the proactive mucus lining of the gut after long-term antibiotic use.

    4. Don’t eat too many artificial sweeteners, leading to increased blood sugar and impaired insulin response