It is very hard not to appreciate the necessity of a higher being to the creation and existence of the human brain. Scientists have recently increased study of the relationship between a higher being, God, and the human brain. Why do patients with temporal lobe epilepsy or schizophrenia sometimes report hyper-religiosity, delusions of grandeur, and belief that they are God? Is there something about the Temporal Lobe and appreciation of God?
New research (see March Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences) suggests that our own belief systems regarding God trigger different parts of the human brain. It appears that we use our cortex and higher order processing systems to think about God’s thoughts or emotions or even the metaphorical aspects of God or religion.
Of interest is the field of Neurotheology that studies the relationship between our belief systems and brain function. We most likely need to pay more attention to how religious beliefs and practices may help to promote quality of life and then integrate such practices into our standard prescribed health care therapies. For example, even in a brain ravaged with Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) the person can sit still and appropriately for nearly 30 minutes to hear a religious service or mass, to sing religious hymns, and to pray. This activity soothes the agitated brain in ways some, if not most, medications do not.
Old age may begin much earlier than thought if you believe age is defined by mental functions. According to new research conducted at the University of Virginia and published in the Neurobiology of Aging many cognitive functions demonstrate peak performance at age 22. By age 27 some cognitive functioning begins to decline while others such as memory decline around 37.
This study was conducted using standardized cognitive tests on 2,000 men and women aged 18-60 years of age and covered nearly seven years. Participants were in good health and well educated.
Aging involves multiple factors and change does not infer disorder. These results, however, further support the idea of a proactive brain health lifestyle that includes cognitive work outs (see fitbrains.com) that begin in childhood.
The Fit Brains crew extends our congratulations to Dr. Paul Nussbaum for being named to Chair of the Advisory Board for Alzheimer’s Prevention Education, Alzheimer’s Foundation of America. Dr. Nussbaum is the Chief Scientific Officer of Fit Brains and an active contributor to the Brain Fitness Blog.
For more information about Alzheimer’s Foundation of America
More Brain Fitness Information.
For everything the human brain has accomplished, it’s a little ironic that our brains don’t fully understand how they, themselves, actually work. Dr. Paul Nussbaum(FitBrains CSO) is getting closer to understanding, and his new book, “Your Brain Health Lifestyle,” is all about how to make the most of your brain. Click here for the video of Dr. Nussbaum talking about brain health on Twin Cities Live
- Antioxidants clean up harmful free radicals – free radicals lead to decline in cell function
- Get antioxidants from beta-carotenes, vitamins A, C, E, and mineral selenium
- Read and write daily – try things that are novel and complex
- Developing a good language system is linked to a decreased risk of Alzheimer’s
- Do puzzles and games that are “novel and complex” – playing Scrabble every single day won’t do it, so change it up!
- Try writing with your non-dominant hand
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