Multiple recent developments have inspired us at Dunphy Medical to focus on healthy brains this month, here are a few of them.
- Trinity College in association with the EU recently launched Hello Brain, a website and free app that promotes mental agility, brain health and understanding of this fascinating organ, follow a link to their site here http://www.hellobrain.eu/en/
- This October Bank Holiday weekend (25th-27th October), Muintir na Tíre is organising a National Active Community Weekend in conjunction with Console to promote mental health.
- TedTalks, (a favourite reference on this site as frequent visitors know) have a great playlist this week called How Does My Brain Work which features 9 videos on separate aspects of brain function.
Here’s one of those TedTalks by Daniel Wolpert called The Real Reason For Brains, I hope you find it as interesting as I did. It also greatly supports and explains the rationale of a physical therapy which I use in my practice (Neural Organisation Technique – N.O.T.) which I have found of great benefit in head, spinal and other physical injuries, and also unexpectedly in dyslexia and learning disorders over the past 30 years. Further information on N.O.T. can be found on this blog by clicking on Neural Organisation Technique under Categories, a section that shows on the left side of our home page.
We’ve added more videos from this TedTalks series on our Facebook pages https://www.facebook.com/dunphymedical and http://www.facebook.com/pages/Dr-Sean-Dunphy/173021722744006?ref=hl and there is always endless content on http://www.ted.com/ too.
In 2006 I had the unique experience (for a short time) of using umbilical cord stem cells in a range of chronic diseases. Because of this experience I was invited as a guest speaker to the European Anti-ageing Conference in Athens, Greece in 2007 and to the World Anti-ageing Conference at the Palais de Congres in Paris the following year.
A fellow speaker from Oxford presented some fascinating new information on how spectacularly adaptive and regenerative the brain is, this quality is called plasticity. Brain plasticity was believed to be impossible as recently as approximately 10 years ago, so all medical textbooks more than 10 years old are 100% wrong in relation to brain plasticity and are best thrown on your next bonfire!!
We can thank the humble canary bird for our first scientific breakthrough in this regard, it generates 500,000 new neural (brain) cells learning a new song every spring – neural stem cells are a key player in learning and memory.
A study of London taxi-drivers who memorised and learned the ‘knowledge’ ie a map of London’s many streets like an internal GPS, showed a 14% growth of the hippocampus (the area of the brain responsible for memory) after just 9 months.
Another study found that when rats learned to navigate a new maze, after only 5 trials they developed more than 20,000 new brain cells. The control group of rats that just ran around a ring for the same time showed no increase in brain cells.
Here’s a video neatly summarising neuroplasticity courtesy of http://www.HelloBrain.eu
Here’s a video from http://www.HelloBrain.eu summarising the best ways to keep your brain healthy