The Link Between B-12, Brain Function, and Memory

brainDr. Edward F. Group – Due to vitamin B-12’s association with energy metabolism, you might wonder what purpose it serves in your brain’s health and memory. There are a few complex roles that this B vitamin participates in — beyond releasing energy — that play a role in neurological function. This article will shed light on the primary reasons B-12 is indispensable to healthy brain aging.

Vitamin B-12 primarily functions as an enzyme cofactor. This role includes the production of red blood cells, the synthesis of myelin (a protein that coats nerves), genetic expression, amino acid balance, and the detoxification of hormones, neurotransmitters, and other chemicals. These activities are essential to maintaining brain function and preventing memory loss and cognitive decline.[1, 2]

B-12 Deficiency and Cognitive Impairment

A number of brain diseases are associated with low B-12 status, particularly conditions characterized by cognitive difficulties like muddled thinking and forgetfulness. But the precise mechanism wasn’t identified until relatively recently. Researchers and doctors are beginning to see that cognitive issues associated with advanced age might be due, at least in part, to undiagnosed low B-12 status.[1, 3] Continue reading “The Link Between B-12, Brain Function, and Memory”

Aging and the Perception of Time

timeJosh Richardson – Time perception is a construction of the brain. How fast we perceive time to be passing — or “mind time” — can be manipulated or distorted, with our evaluations of time differing based on our state of being at the time of judgment.

Could how you age and how long you live be depend on that perception?

People tend to see their will as more determinant of future events than of past events. When we contemplate the future we feel as though we have a choice and are likely to influence future events, but when we consider our own past we often feel like many of the things that have happened were out of our control. When people see that their actions are tied to what actually happens around them, their perception of free will changes, or at the very least, is activated.  Continue reading “Aging and the Perception of Time”

How To Remember Your Past Lives

Jo Leonard – If there really is such a thing as reincarnation, then why don’t we remember our past lives? Actually, when you think about it, we don’t even remember much of this life let alone our past lives. Well, why not?

past livesTo start with, there’s the possibility that our forgetfulness is due to a bit of cosmic mercy. Our fragile minds probably couldn’t simultaneously process all the memories: the joys, pains, humiliations, triumphs, confusion, doubts, information, wounds, and so forth connected to this and other lifetimes. We would become overloaded and unbalanced. How could we ever know productivity, happiness, contentment in the here and now if we are constantly besieged by the past? (Not withstanding that some people like to torture themselves and others by bringing up the past on a regular basis. A little self control, please.)

The memories of this life and our past lives are all there under lock and key for our own protection. We do draw upon them, most often unconsciously, for the purpose of making correlations and comparisons as we progress along through life. And those past lives are definitely influencing us without us trying to recall them. Do you have your irrational fear of spiders? An almost instant dislike for a new co-worker? A love of all things Native American? Yes, as you sit there reading this, you are the sum total of everything you have always been. Awesome, huh?

Continue reading “How To Remember Your Past Lives”

Researchers Discover That Memories Can Be Passed Down Through Changes In Our DNA

Arjun Walia – Epigenetics is a branch of biology which studies how the development and functioning of biological systems are influenced by forces that operate outside of the DNA sequence. Within the past few years alone, remarkable discoveries have been made which demonstrate that our thoughts, emotions, feelings, and overall perception of the world/environment around us can actually have physical/biological effects on our DNA.

Adding further complexity to our often mystifying genetic code, research from Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia has shown that it’s possible for information to be inherited biologically through our DNA. More specifically, their research shows that behaviour can be affected by events in previous generations which have been passed on through a form of genetic memory.

Published a couple of years ago in the journal Nature Neuroscience, the findings of this study corroborates with other recent research in the field.(source)(source

The study found that mice can pass on learned information about traumatic or stressful experiences to subsequent generations — in this case, the smell of a cherry blossom. These results could explain why people suffer from phobias, or why certain behaviours or thoughts are triggered by particular objects or situations: Continue reading “Researchers Discover That Memories Can Be Passed Down Through Changes In Our DNA”

Sparks Of Consciousness Mapped In Most Detail Yet

Anil Ananthaswamy – HOLD that thought.

When it comes to consciousness, the brain may be doing just that. It now seems that conscious perception requires brain activity to hold steady for hundreds of milliseconds. This signature in the pattern of brainwaves can be used to distinguish between levels of impaired consciousness in people with brain injury.

The new study by Aaron Schurger at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne doesn’t explain the so-called “hard problem of consciousness” – how roughly a kilogram of nerve cells is responsible for the miasma of sensations, thoughts and emotions that make up our mental experience. However, it does chip away at it, and support the idea that it may one day be explained in terms of how the brain processes information.

activityNeuroscientists think that consciousness requires neurons to fire in such a way that they produce a stable pattern of brain activity. The exact pattern will depend on what the sensory information is, but once information has been processed, the idea is that the brain should hold a pattern steady for a short period of time – almost as if it needs a moment to read out the information.

In 2009, Schurger tested this theory by scanning 12 people’s brains with fMRI machines. The volunteers were shown two images simultaneously, one for each eye. One eye saw a red-on-green line drawing and the other eye saw green-on-red. This confusion caused the volunteers to sometimes consciously perceive the drawing and sometimes not.

When people reported seeing the drawing, the scans, on average, showed their brain activity was stable. When they said they didn’t see anything, it was more variable. Now, Schurger and colleagues have repeated the experiment – using electroencephalography and magnetoencephalography, which measure the electrical and magnetic fields generated by brain activity. These techniques provide greater temporal resolution than fMRI, allowing the team to see how the pattern of activity changes over milliseconds within a single brain. Continue reading “Sparks Of Consciousness Mapped In Most Detail Yet”