Do You Have a Dirty Brain?
Apr 12, 2016 by Dr. Jess Goodman | lifestyle
The brain is fussy and needs a squeaky clean environment to function well. It is not difficult to improve brain health, feel more energy, have better recall and avoid developing dementia. The explanation below dives into the science but your brain will thank you for the effort of reading on.
The brain and spinal cord are bathed in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), a crystal clear and ultra pure fluid. CSF is formed, resorbed and filtered by the brain’s frond like Chorionic Plexus appendages. Chorionic Plexus structures project into blood vessels feeding the brain and are located in each of the brain’s Ventricles, fluid filled spaces located deep inside the brain.
CSF Flow and Impaired Brain Function
CSF flow decreases with aging and as a result impurities collect in the CSF. This slowly creates a toxic environment that can cause impaired brain function (fatigue, depression, mental fogging, cognitive decline, etc.). I’ll try and give you an understandable explanation and advice to help your brain function optimally for a lifetime. 500ml of CSF is created, filtered and returned to the blood stream every day by Chorionic Plexus cells. This fluid has to circulate to all parts of the brain and spinal cord to protect the brain from toxic effects.
CSF circulates in the space between the brain and the skull, through the Ventricles within the brain and flows within and around the spinal cord all the way from the neck to the lower back. Circulation of CSF past Chorionic Plexus areas is important to filter out impurities from CSF, such as substances known to increase risk of Dementia.
Breathing: Major Regulator of Human CSF Flow
The scientific article Inspiration is the Major Regulator of Human CSF Flow explains that when we take a deep breath in (inspiration), there is a drop in pressure within the chest cavity that is transmitted to the venous blood vessels surrounding the spinal cord. This drop in pressure results in flow of CSF down the spinal cord. With release of the breath (expiration) there is flow in the other direction, up the spinal cord and back to the brain.
Now that we know that breathing and decreased pressure in the chest cavity result in CSF flow, we can understand how to make sure CSF flow is adequate to keep our brains functioning well today and for the long haul. When we breath in, the diaphragm muscle descends and the rib cage expands. This increases the volume of the chest cavity and results in a decrease in pressure within the chest cavity. Factors that affect diaphragmatic descent and rib cage expansion include illnesses such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. (Emphysema) but with aging a much more common factor is gradually increasing stiffness of the mid portion of the spine (Thoracic Spine) and decreased motion of the facet joints between the ribs and the spine. With increasing spinal stiffness and decreased rib facet joint motion there is less and less of an ability to expand chest cavity volume with breathing.
Your Body and its Core Mobility
Core Mobility is a term I coined to describe mobility of the spine, diaphragm, tissues and other bits and pieces making up the body’s core regions defined by the chest, abdomen and pelvis. Core Mobility is important to allow breathing to promote healthy flow of CSF. Core Mobility is also necessary to compress and release the soft, spongy internal organs (liver, spleen, kidneys, etc.) with each breath, creating micro circulatory flow along millions of tiny canals within each organ. This micro circulation is essential for organ function, supports life and a major influence on longevity.
Increasing Core Mobility is easy! Walking, aerobic exercise, Yoga and Tai Chi all improve Core Mobility, CSF circulation and Internal Organ health. Omega-3 supplementation has also been shown to be helpful.
Track Core Mobility With iHeart
Until recently it has been difficult to measure Core Mobility. The iHeart Internal Age System uses a fingertip pulse sensor and a 30 second test to measure Aortic Stiffness, a measure of stiffness along the Thoracic spine. Aortic Stiffness has been proven in the scientific literature to predict risk of death from all causes and is used by iHeart to provide an estimate of your Physiological Age as compared to your Chronological Age. iHeart testing is an easy way to follow your progress as you improve Core Mobility and achieve good health.
Don’t have a dirty mind! With exercise and use of Omega-3. you can quickly increase Core Mobility and with each breath give your brain a fresh drink of clear and nourishing CSF.