According to www.bosterbio.com, neurogenesis cannot happen without the aid of certain chemicals called neurotrophins. These chemicals are known to initiate and control the birth of neurons in the brain. Among these neurotrophins is a very active neurotrophin called the Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) which is known to be responsible for the following:
Over time, Research has discovered that the brain constantly forms new neural connections in a way to keep the brain cells functional and alert all through a person’s lifetime. This birth of new neural connections is known as neurogenesis.
- Promotion of synaptic connections between the neurons in the brain
- Stimulation and control of the birth of new neurons from the stem cells in the brain
- Learning and long-term storage of information
- High mental function
- Survival of brain cells and neurons
- Helping nerve cells to adjust and adapt to the changes in their environment after a brain injury (Neuroplasticity)
- Facilitating the release of glutamate at the presynapse
- The synthesis of postsynaptic glutamate receptor
- Regeneration of neurons
The BDNF is expressed in the cortex, forebrain, and hippocampus. It is also seen in the saliva, retina, kidney, and blood but its most important functions are the ones that go on in the brain. The BDNF is more active in areas of the brain used for higher thinking, memory storage, and learning. The BDNF Elisa kits can be used to assess the BDNF levels of the brain.
The higher your BDNF levels, the better your brain and memory functions. However, the BDNF levels drop and this can cause a lot of harm to your brain. The BDNF is important for the long-term retaining of acquired knowledge, memories, and experiences and so must be preserved and taken care of.
Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor Deficiency
BDNF deficiency occurs when the Brain-derived neurotrophic factor is deficient especially in the brain. BDNF can also be expressed in the blood and CSF, however, the levels of BDNF in the blood have no relations with CSF BDNF. Now let’s look at the factors that may lead to BDNF deficiency.
The primary causes of BDNF deficiency are as follows:
Your day-to-day activities whether little or not has a way of stressing your entire being most especially mentally and this can cause reduced levels of BDNF. Research has found out that people who suffer acute stress have low BDNF levels.
Sugar in minute amounts is good especially if you want to keep your BDNF levels on the high side. If you love sweet and sugary food, ensure to cut down on the amount you eat daily to this will go a long way to improve your BDNF levels.
Isolation from social activities
Staying isolated from the world reduces BDNF and can equally lead to depression. You don’t have to go bowling with everyone if you don’t want to, you can go ahead, sit in the crowd and cheer them on. Getting involved with activities that keep one happy and make them feel loved increases BDNF levels and the best way is to get on that activity table with your friends, family, and loved ones.
How to treat BDNF Deficiency
Having known the primary causes of BDNF deficiency, you must agree that one can easily increase their BDNF levels by reducing stress, engaging in different fun and social activities, and saying ‘No’ to sugar.
However, there are various other ways to ensure the increase of BDNF levels. These include:
Depriving your brain of oxygen for a short while by holding your breath is a great way to increase your BDNF levels. This is because instant BDNF is released during hypoxia. This is one of the major reasons swimming is effective for increasing BDNF levels.
Engaging in activities or games that task the brain helps to keep it working constantly and this increases BDNF levels. Also learning new things or presenting your brain with a challenge helps to spark it up in a bid to tackle the challenge thereby improving your brain-derived neurotrophic factor. Do you have some mental games to keep you active? Play them and your BDNF will thank you.
Exercises; especially Aerobic exercises (the ones that let in lots of oxygen into your body) helps to increase your BDNF. These exercises include; Swimming, dancing, running, jogging, etc.
Your BDNF needs you to be up and running to be functional. So get up every day, enjoy a cool morning work-out under the morning sun, and have fun with friends.
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