I have said it many times before and I’ll say it again.
The brain is the most important problem to be working on right now.
Not only is it the single most complex piece of matter in the known universe, it is the single source of our greatest triumphs, pleasures and wins.
It is also the source of our greatest suffering and despair.
It generates consciousness, drives movement, and makes us, us.
Very little is even known about the brain. How is consciousness generated exactly? And where? Our imaging techniques and modelling techniques are still super primitive.
There is SO much to be discovered, so much to be revealed.
I think there’s room for plenty for innovation when it comes to thinking about the brain and how best to support its many functions.
We need passionate scientists, ambitious entrepreneurs and creative engineers to get together to bring unique solutions to life.
Whether that is in the food/supplement space, drugs and pharmaceuticals or via other technologies like genetic engineering, stem cell technology, brain computer interfaces, EEG and advanced diagnostics or even software tools.
There are important problems to solve here, that will benefit all of humanity looking for solutions each and every day.
As such, let us take a dive into what I think are the 4 most important, brain-related problems that need to be solved. Today we are looking at Part 1 of 4, which is brain health.
Part 1 - Brain health
Brain health can be seen as the physical and structural health of the brain and its individual components, such as each neuron.
The degradation of physical brain health can increase as we age, which can lead to cognitive decline, memory loss or to a host of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease.
Verbal recall/fluency and memory seem to be strong indicators of brain health, and thus supporting these functions may support our brain health in the long term.
Continuous learning or mentally straining activity may also preserve brain health now and into the future.
Neurodegenerative diseases, or the loss of cognitive function as we get older or due to disease is a tragedy in modern society. Not only is the incidence of this increasing, but it is becoming more prevalent as we begin to live a lot longer due to the advances in modern medicine and health.
The ability to stave off/prevent or even completely solve neurodegenerative disease is HUGELY important and we need to tackle this in any way we can.
There are a few key lifestyle strategies/changes we can implement TODAY to help us preserve our brain health.
Exercise, in particular aerobic or HIIT exercise can promote Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) which is a key neuroprotein that helps support and repair neurons.
Meditation has also been shown to improve gray matter density in the brain, as well as upregulate genes responsible for anti-inflammation and anti-stress.
You should aim to eat a diet rich in choline (think eggs, meats) as well as foods high in Omega 3 fatty acids (DHA/EPA) - think fish, krill or algae.
You can supplement with acetylcholine precursors (Alpha-GPC or CDP-Choline) if you think you aren’t getting enough dietary choline from your diet. This may apply to you more so if you’re a vegan.
You can also supplement with an Omega 3 fish oil/krill oil/algae oil if you’re lacking it in your diet.
Other notable natural supplements we can utilise today include:
Brain health/neuron health: Lions Mane Mushroom, Neurofactor (Whole coffee fruit extract). These both target NGF and BDNF, two primary neurotrophins or proteins which may be a key target in restoring neuronal health as well as promoting better brain health and long term function.
All of these are found in Enhance nootropic – our daily brain health supplement.
These are just a few, easy strategies we can look to implement until some further advancements are made in pharmaceuticals or maybe even gene therapy to cure or stop cognitive decline in its tracks.
Brain health is a multivariate problem, which will require a lot of interventions, strategies and technologies to really solve and get on top of.
It starts with lifestyle changes such as nutrition, exercise, meditation and careful supplementation.
Then, with continued work in pharmaceuticals, genetic engineering, stem cell therapy, nanotechnology and nanomedicines, brain computer interfaces, advanced imaging techniques, we may begin to truly uncover this mystery.