Hello, I am Dr. Paul Nussbaum, co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Fit Brains, and I am happy to introduce myself to the Ft Brains’ community. My background is in clinical neuropsychology, and I specialize in brain health and aging across the lifespan. Currently, I maintain an Adjunct Associate Professorship in Neurological Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.
This is my first posting, and I will be bogging weekly. In the days to come, I plan on covering many subjects in the area of brain health and fitness. This will include insight into our new Fit Brains brain games, tools and features. Today’s blog will be the first part in this series.
Your Brain Health
The single greatest system ever designed in the history of the universe is your brain. Your brain is responsible for your every thought, emotion, and behavior. Unfortunately we humans do not know much about our brains and it is time to change that.
1. Your brain weighs 2 to 4 pounds.
2. Your brain is comprised of 60% fat and is the fattiest system in your body.
3. Your brain consumes 25% of the blood from every heartbeat.
4. Your brain has two sides or hemispheres (left hemisphere and right hemisphere).
Left hemisphere helps you with language, detail, and analysis
Right hemisphere helps you with faces, spatial orientation, sounds.
5. Your brain has a Cortex and Subcortex.
Your Cortex is conscious and helps you learn, remember, communicate, Read, write, orient to space, process sensory information, and personality.
Your Subcortex processes subconscious motor or procedural behaviors such as dressing, driving, and typing on your computer.
Your Cortex and Subcortex interact as a beautiful symphony.
6. Your hippocampus is the structure in your brain (sits in the middle of each temporal lobe just under each temple on your skull) that enables you to learn.
New Ideas about Your Brain:
The human brain (like the animal brain) can generate new brain cells. This new brain cell development (neurogenesis) occurs in the hippocampus.
The human brain is now thought to have “neural plasticity” or be a system that is highly dynamic, constantly reorganizing, and malleable. It is shaped by environmental input.
Our brains need exposure to environments that are enriched, complex and novel. Environments that are passive and rote do not help the health of your brain.
Exposure to enriched environments across your lifespan will lead to new brain cell development and increased cellular connections (“Synaptic Density”). Synaptic Density or Brain Reserve may help to delay the onset of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and related dementias.