Elastic Brain

Can an adult gulp knowledge at the rate of a toddler?

Woman with toddler

Woman with toddler

How plastic is your brain? Neuroplasticity, also described as neuroelasticity, is defined as the ability of the brain to change continuously throughout your life: to learn different languages, including programming languages, new sports, conquer an IQ test or some versions of it like the bar exam. The proportion of grey matter, consisting of neuronal cell bodies, synapses, and capillaries, can grow and adapt to facilitate cognition and memory. The aim of anti-agers is to optimize these neural networks for cognitive and physiological learning throughout life.

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Brain Enemies

Two of the biggest enemies of brain plasticity are interlinked: inflammation and atherosclerosis. These cause infectious-like conditions and starve the brain of oxygen, nutrients, and protectors.

Research in the latter half of the 20th century showed that many aspects of the brain can be altered (or are “plastic”) even through adulthood.

Vinpocetine Improves Neuronal Plasticity

Vinpocetine is an alkaloid extracted from the periwinkle vine and may well be a neuronal plasticity enhancer.

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“Vinpocetine treatment has been shown to facilitate long-term potentiation, improve spatial memory in animal models, and enhance performance on cognitive tests in humans,” says researchers in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

How it Works

The cognitive enhancement function of vinpocetine comes from its inhibition of phosphodiesterase type 1 (PDE type 1). When overexpressed, this enzyme causes constricts arteries and high blood pressure. But when gently moderated downward by the plant-based alkaloid, they return to normal and a series of enzymatic reactions, including with blood serum factors, eventually leads to the expression of the body’s plasticity-related genes.

Vinpocetine relaxes cerebral vascular networks, including major arteries, thus enhancing cerebral blood flow.

It is available as a dietary supplement.

Reference i Alexandre E. Medina Vinpocetine as a potent antiinflammatory agent Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010 Jun 1; 107(22): 9921–9922. Published online 2010 May 21. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1005138107 PMCID: PMC2890434 PMID: 20495091 Alexandre E. Medina Vinpocetine as a potent antiinflammatory agent Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010 Jun 1; 107(22): 9921–9922. Published online 2010 May 21. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1005138107 PMCID: PMC2890434 PMID: 20495091
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