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  #1  
Old 08-15-2009
BradMM BradMM is offline
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Default Physical decline caused by slow decay of brain's myelin

Terry got me to reading The Talent Code and I'm very much enjoying it... except the part about how my myelin is breaking down rather than being built up! The point of the book is that talent is developed through targeted deep practice which develops neural pathways that are kind of reinforced by building layers of myelin around them to cause them to function better. We aren't born with talents, we learn them but, the older you get, the harder it is to learn them because your brain starts degenerating.

The myelination of brain circuits follows an inverted U-shaped trajectory, peaking in middle age. Bartzokis and others have long argued that brain aging may be primarily related to the process of myelin breakdown.

"Studies have shown us that as we age, myelin breakdown and repair is continually occurring over the brain's entire 'neural network,'" said Bartzokis, who is also a member of UCLA's Ahmanson–Lovelace Brain Mapping Center and the UCLA Laboratory of Neuro Imaging. "But in older age, we begin losing the repair battle. That means the average performance of the networks gradually declines with age at an accelerating rate."

Significantly, the research suggests that the myelin breakdown process should also reduce all other brain functions for which performance speed is dependent on higher AP frequencies, including memory; it also supports the suggestion that myelin breakdown is a biological process of aging underlying the erosion of physical skills and cognitive decline, including the onset of such age-driven disorders as Alzheimer's disease.

There is, however, some good news, according to Bartzokis.

"Since in healthy individuals brain myelin breakdown begins to occur in middle age, there is a decades-long period during which therapeutic interventions could alter the course of brain aging and possibly delay age-driven degenerative brain disorders such as Alzheimer's," he said. "Non-invasive, serial evaluations of myelin integrity could be used to monitor the effects of new and current treatments that may slow the process of myelin breakdown as early as midlife."


So, the lesson is, if you're under 40, FOCUS on what you want to be good/great at, such as swimming, and find ways to engage in deep practice such as TI techniques.

If you're OVER 40, you're going to have to work even harder to get there... but NEVER GIVE UP!!!
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  #2  
Old 08-16-2009
shuumai shuumai is offline
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Originally Posted by BradMM View Post
So, the lesson is, if you're under 40, FOCUS on what you want to be good/great at, such as swimming, and find ways to engage in deep practice such as TI techniques.

If you're OVER 40, you're going to have to work even harder to get there... but NEVER GIVE UP!!!
Oh, excrement. I'm running out of time to improve. Well, while things will become more challenging to learn, it's the challenge that has a positive effect on the brain.

(I need to go back and listen to the part 2 of the book since I was distracted while playing the audio files.)
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  #3  
Old 08-16-2009
Rhoda Rhoda is offline
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I'm over 50 - just - and feel I'm still improving and learning. Perhaps it takes longer than it took at 30.
Read The Brain Trust book for suggestions on diet to maintain good brain health. It goes against all the low-fat suggestions of of the past few decades, recommending certain fats and oils as well as coenzyme Q10 to feed the brain and keep it well-lubricated.
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  #4  
Old 08-16-2009
BradMM BradMM is offline
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Thanks, Rhonda! I totally agree with what you wrote.

I've been reading fitness and diet info for the past 10 years although I kind of slowed down the past few. I buy an enteric fish oil because my wife doesn't like fish and doesn't want to burp fish oil. I also like to grill wild salmon. By the way, Vital Choices has an incredible free newsletter with regular summaries of studies on the benefits of fish and fish byproducts. I would highly recommend it.

Also got over the fat phobia early on and do eat healthy fats. I kind of come and go with coenzyme Q10 but I did read recently that the red yeast rice that I started recently to lower LDL's also interfere's with the body's production of that so I'm cutting back on the red yeast rice.
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Old 08-16-2009
shuumai shuumai is offline
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Also got over the fat phobia early on and do eat healthy fats. I kind of come and go with coenzyme Q10 but I did read recently that the red yeast rice that I started recently to lower LDL's also interfere's with the body's production of that so I'm cutting back on the red yeast rice.
A proven all-in-one solution for improving your cholesterol balance is slow release niacin. Slow release is for reducing flushing. Niacin has been proven to raise HDL, lower LDL, and reduce triglycerides by up to 30%. Ah, it would be interesting to check on nutrient depletion though.
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  #6  
Old 08-16-2009
BradMM BradMM is offline
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A proven all-in-one solution for improving your cholesterol balance is slow release niacin. Slow release is for reducing flushing. Niacin has been proven to raise HDL, lower LDL, and reduce triglycerides by up to 30%. Ah, it would be interesting to check on nutrient depletion though.
As you said, "oh excrement!" I just bought a bunch of the other because it was on sale. Actually my ratio has always been acceptable because my HDL's are high but I'd still like to bring down the LDS's.
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  #7  
Old 08-16-2009
kryptobob1 kryptobob1  is offline
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Default breakdown of myelin sheaths

I am not sure that large studies necessarily apply directly to individuals. That is why you can have a guy like Jack LaLaine who bounces all over the place at 90+ years old. Exercising the brain, eating right, avoiding fat blockers such as Zetia or some of the natural ones (my opinion, but loosely based on the recent Vytorin study which showed worse outcomes for people taking zetia + zocor vs zocor alone on cath studies) physically demanding multi-tasked exercise which puts a positive load on the CNS can all benefit. MYelin is fat or lipid. We have to maintain a good intake of "good" lipids. I learned in Nutrition that we make 50% and we take in 50%. Sure, the Second Law of Thermodynanics is always working against us. Warranties of body parts expire, etc... But a large study finding does not correlate well to you, the individual. I personally think that everything we have in our lipid profile has value. It's the dysarrangement and percentages of the low density ones when too high that may lead to damage. I tell my pilots that there is only one that has no value, transfat, and that's because we made it... SO- read read read!!! Good literary exercise using great material and keep up the plyometrics, total body conditioning and muscle confusion training and I believe that you will greatly slow down any problem. Be aware there are other variables at work, genetics being one. We get 120 years (neat study done when I was in med school showed skin cells stopped reproducing at a certain number of divisions, extrapolated out = 120 yrs give or take. (yeah yeah I know the Russian Dannon lady standing on the mountain at 135 or so wrapped in what looked a carpet eating Dannon yogurt. Well, guess what, she was only like a 114 or so. Still that is pretty darn good!
Quote:
Originally Posted by BradMM View Post
Terry got me to reading The Talent Code and I'm very much enjoying it... except the part about how my myelin is breaking down rather than being built up! The point of the book is that talent is developed through targeted deep practice which develops neural pathways that are kind of reinforced by building layers of myelin around them to cause them to function better. We aren't born with talents, we learn them but, the older you get, the harder it is to learn them because your brain starts degenerating.

The myelination of brain circuits follows an inverted U-shaped trajectory, peaking in middle age. Bartzokis and others have long argued that brain aging may be primarily related to the process of myelin breakdown.

"Studies have shown us that as we age, myelin breakdown and repair is continually occurring over the brain's entire 'neural network,'" said Bartzokis, who is also a member of UCLA's Ahmanson–Lovelace Brain Mapping Center and the UCLA Laboratory of Neuro Imaging. "But in older age, we begin losing the repair battle. That means the average performance of the networks gradually declines with age at an accelerating rate."

Significantly, the research suggests that the myelin breakdown process should also reduce all other brain functions for which performance speed is dependent on higher AP frequencies, including memory; it also supports the suggestion that myelin breakdown is a biological process of aging underlying the erosion of physical skills and cognitive decline, including the onset of such age-driven disorders as Alzheimer's disease.

There is, however, some good news, according to Bartzokis.

"Since in healthy individuals brain myelin breakdown begins to occur in middle age, there is a decades-long period during which therapeutic interventions could alter the course of brain aging and possibly delay age-driven degenerative brain disorders such as Alzheimer's," he said. "Non-invasive, serial evaluations of myelin integrity could be used to monitor the effects of new and current treatments that may slow the process of myelin breakdown as early as midlife."


So, the lesson is, if you're under 40, FOCUS on what you want to be good/great at, such as swimming, and find ways to engage in deep practice such as TI techniques.

If you're OVER 40, you're going to have to work even harder to get there... but NEVER GIVE UP!!!
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  #8  
Old 08-16-2009
BradMM BradMM is offline
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Originally Posted by kryptobob1 View Post
[font="Garamond"]I am not sure that large studies necessarily apply directly to individuals.
Of course they don't always apply but what are the alternatives? They at least give us trend lines but we all probably fall above or below these somewhere. I'm sure you would also agree that one study does not make it so. I was basically following up with a post from Terry about the book which I've been reading and was using the article to raise the topic.

Almost 30 years ago, I took a very interesting course titled Language and the Brain. I seem to remember that myelin's benefit was that it sped up the neural connections because the electrical impulse would jump from point to point across the myelin versus traveling through the neuron. Now, the benefit seems to be that it insulates the neuron and somehow that improves the connection. Just wondered, since you seem to be educated in medicine, if you could clarify that for me... just curious, that's all.

Thanks,

Brad
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  #9  
Old 09-13-2009
haschu33 haschu33 is offline
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I just found this Thread and like to comment.

There are a lot of studies around on about anything and the relation of about anything to everything, particularly with neurology - which is very good.
But, be very carefull with conclusions!

I do not agree with this 'lesson':

Quote:
Originally Posted by BradMM View Post
...
So, the lesson is, if you're under 40, FOCUS on what you want to be good/great at, such as swimming, and find ways to engage in deep practice such as TI techniques.

If you're OVER 40, you're going to have to work even harder to get there... ...!!!
Since about a good week I've got my TI DVD and practice. I am now doing Zen switches and notice that new movement patterns build up very fast (I have never done any freestyle swimming before - because I never learned it).

I work at an IT company (Not a spelling error, it doesn't mean TI, means Information Technology ), I constantly have to learn, and I like to learn. Very much, actually. I get bored if I do the same thing for a longer time without learning something new. I don't see any signs that I get difficulties in learning or become slower (most of the guys around me are younger than me).

I just read an article of a german professor about learning versus age, and he states, that there is no scientific evidence that there is a 'learning-curve' through the age. The point in learning is, he said, that you need a reason for learning what you learn. Otherwise you simply won't do it.


I'd like to mention the famous 'nuns' study.
Psychological test were made with highly aged nuns. After they passed away, an autopsy of their brains was done to check for signs of degeneration.
The result was: In the psychological tests the nuns showed no signs of brain degeneration at all.
The postmortem analyzed brains showed a high degree of degeneration that you find with Alzheimer-disease.

So, the lesson is: don't jump to guns too early. What a brain study result means, seem to depend on a number of factors and cannot always be translated one-to-one.
And learn what you want to learn. Your brain can do it, as any brain can do it. They call it 'neuro-plasticity'. The brain changes if you use it.

Enjoy it.


My age is 55, by the way.
Lot of things in my mind, that I'd like to learn...

P.S. I am not sure, that it is a good idea to get too much into a very specific brain-diet. I bet the recommendations will change quite fast, as science goes along.
Although, lot's of fast-food will probably not help. Not our brains and not us.

One more P.S.
I think the only way to make us unable to learn is to develop a conviction that we cannot learn.
Mind is very powerful, it seems. One more reason to be careful with conclusions.

Last edited by haschu33 : 09-13-2009 at 09:24 PM.
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  #10  
Old 09-13-2009
BradMM BradMM is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haschu33 View Post
There are a lot of studies around on about anything and the relation of about anything to everything, particularly with neurology - which is very good.
But, be very carefull with conclusions!

I do not agree with this 'lesson':
On the contrary, it is you who are presenting one study as evidence with no citation or source provided. I was referring to a book that was researched by the author and with many references... as a follow up to previous posts by our host.

I am also 55, (re)learning my organic chemistry, furthering my knowledge of plant physiology, etc. to enhance the college classes that I teach. I haven't noticed any problems with my learning abilities but I also have years of experience to build on. I think I'll stick with my strategy of continuing to "exercise" my brain to keep it as fit as I reasonably can, just as I do with my body. I KNOW from first hand experience that my body can't do the things it used to do so I exercise it regularly to slow down the decline and maintain as much as I can.
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