Newsletter Archive

Professor of the Practice of Law University of Denver Sturm College of Law

The Professional Brain Newsletter Archives

Join the email list for a weekly nudge designed to help professionals enhance their brain health and mental strength.  

Fruit & Veggies Protect Against Cognitive Decline

A recent study demonstrated that a diet that includes flavonoids is likely to protect against cognitive decline.  Flavonoids are found in fruit and vegetables and are high in antioxidants.  Researchers evaluated diet data over 20 years from 49,493 female and 27,842 male health professionals.  The women completed 7 food questionnaires

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Exercise Counteracts Stress in the Brain

Exercise can protect memory and learning systems from the negative cognitive impact of stress on the brain. Researchers examined the impact of stress and exercise on synaptic plasticity, which neuroscientists call long-term potentiation (LTP).  The hippocampus is the structure in the brain that processes and stores memory.  LTP in the

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Chronic Stress & Alzheimer’s Disease

Exposure to chronic stress creates a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease (AD).  AD causes a progressive decline in cognition, language capacity, and physical ability, and eventually results in death.  A growing body of research indicates that chronic stress, which is long-term and involves long-lasting activation of the HPA axis,

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Powerful Hippocampus

The hippocampus is a structure deep in the emotional brain that processes memory.  It is critical for learning and recalling information stored in long-term memory.  A new study demonstrated that the hippocampus is important to short-term memory and decision-making as well. Researchers used internal electrodes in the brains of 6

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Never Too Late to Improve Brain Health

The brain’s superpowers, plasticity and the capacity to grow new brain cells, allow the brain to improve with lifestyle changes throughout the entire lifespan.  The most common risk to the brain is the neurodegenerative Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Research has demonstrated that Cathespin B (CTSB) increases in young adults who exercise,

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Night Owls & Depression

Sleep patterns are controlled by a regulation process called the circadian rhythm.  Our arousal process, made up of specific brain cells, hormones, and chemicals keep us awake for about 16 hours before giving way to our sleep process, facilitated by different neurons, hormones, and chemicals.  Our chronotype describes our sleep

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Brain Size Matters

Our brains shrink with age and brain atrophy is correlated with risk of cognitive decline and dementia.  In 2017, scientists discovered that indigenous Tsimane inhabitants of the Amazon in Bolivia have very low rates of cardiovascular disease in their old age.  Researchers decided to examine their brain health in a

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Fruits, Veggies & Stress

A study of 8,689 Australian men and women, average age 47 years, examined the relationship between fruit and vegetable intake and perceived stress.  Perceived stress indicates the impact of the interaction between a person and the environment, and it reflects the thoughts or feelings about how much stress a person

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Prescription to Reverse Aging

A recent clinical trial demonstrated that an 8-week diet and lifestyle program can reverse biological aging in otherwise healthy adult males, ages 50-72.  The intervention included prescriptions for exercise, sleep, stress management, diet, and supplements.  The interaction of our genetic makeup, our DNA, with our environment can change our health. 

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Exercise Benefits All Ages

Researchers examined data from two studies of American adults to explore the relationship between exercise and a sense of purpose in life: 14,159 participants from the Health & Retirement Study, average age 68 years; and 4,041 participants from National Survey of Midlife Development in the US, average age 56 years. 

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Diet & Reducing Inflammation

The gut microbiome influences inflammation in our digestive and immune systems.  Inflammation plays a role in heart disease, inflammatory bowel syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, and Alzheimer’s disease.  Excess inflammation kills brain cells, weakens brain circuits, prevents the birth of new brain cells, and causes cognitive decline, anxiety, and depression. Researchers investigated

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Downward Regulation Dog

If you are a long-term dog owner or if you got a pandemic puppy, you might want to add your dog to the list of things you are grateful for.  Research shows that interacting with dogs can downregulate the fight-or-flight stress response. Interacting with therapy dogs reduces stress hormones, lowers

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Copyright Debra Austin. All rights reserved.

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