If Your Hippocampus Is Bigger Than Normal, Don't Worry About Getting Alzheimer's

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TheBrain
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If Your Hippocampus Is Bigger Than Normal, Don't Worry About Getting Alzheimer's

Postby TheBrain » Sun Jan 28, 2018 9:15 am

http://www.medicaldaily.com/if-your-hip ... ers-357220

”More volume, more memory” may sound like the tagline for a new hair commercial but, in fact, it’s the nutshell results of a preliminary study which suggests the bigger the size of your hippocampus, the lower your risk of memory decline and dementia.

The two seahorse-shaped structures tucked deep inside the brain on both sides, left and right, are referred to as the hippocampus. As part of the limbic system, the hippocampus plays a role in both emotion and the formation of new memories. Specifically, the hippocampus is where information — usually emotionally-charged information — is transferred, like some hasty transaction performed at the ATM, into the long-term memory banks. While the left hippocampus appears to help us retain words and language, the right hippocampus is linked to spatial memory, such as the layout of streets in your hometown.

Unsurprisingly, the hippocampus is one of the first structures to erode in the brains of patients with Alzheimer's disease, a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking, and behavior. Many previous studies of dementia have focused on the hippocampus and for the current study, the research team investigated how the size of this brain structure relates to risk of Alzheimer's disease.


Source for this article: Bonner-Jackson A, Mahmoud S, Miller J, Banks S. Verbal and non-verbal memory and hippocampal volumes in a memory clinic population. Alzheimer's Research & Therapy. 2015.

I recently had an MRI with NeuroQuant. NeuroQuant measures the volume of specific brain structures and compares them to healthy controls of the same age and gender. I was delighted to learn that my hippocampus volume score was at 95%. And I was delighted to come across this article.

My NeuroQuant results do confirm mold illness, and retesting can confirm when I’ve overcome it. My FM practitioner is focusing on the CIRS aspect of my health woes.

Unfortunately, I do have other abnormalities. I’m gaining some understanding of them, but I need to consult with a neurologist. My PCP is of no help. When he handed me my results, he said, “Good luck figuring out what all those numbers mean.”
ApoE 4/4 - When I was in 7th grade, my fellow students in history class called me "The Brain" because I had such a memory for detail. I excelled at memorization and aced tests. This childhood memory helps me cope!

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Re: If Your Hippocampus Is Bigger Than Normal, Don't Worry About Getting Alzheimer's

Postby TheBrain » Sun Jan 28, 2018 9:19 am

http://longevityreporter.org/blog/2015/ ... m-dementia

Here, you can view a great animation of where the hippocampus is located in the brain. There’s actually a left and a right hippocampus.
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Re: If Your Hippocampus Is Bigger Than Normal, Don't Worry About Getting Alzheimer's

Postby TheBrain » Sun Jan 28, 2018 9:35 am

Shrinking Hippocampus Signals Early Alzheimer’s

People who have lost brain cells in the hippocampus area of the brain are more likely to develop dementia, researchers report. The findings add to a growing body of evidence that shrinkage of the brain, particularly in the hippocampal area, may be an early sign of Alzheimer’s disease, occurring years before obvious memory loss and other symptoms appear.

The study, from researchers in the Netherlands, appeared in Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. It involved 64 people with Alzheimer’s disease, 44 people with mild cognitive impairment, a less severe form of memory loss that sometimes precedes Alzheimer’s disease, and 34 people with no memory or thinking problems.

The researchers performed MRI brain scans on all of the participants at the beginning of the study, and again an average of a year and a half later. During that time, 23 of the people with mild cognitive impairment had developed Alzheimer’s disease, along with three of the healthy participants.

Researchers measured the volume of the whole brain as well as the hippocampus area, which is affected by Alzheimer’s disease, at the beginning and end of the study, and calculated the rate of shrinkage in the brain over that time.

For the people who did not have dementia at the beginning of the study, those with smaller hippocampal volumes and higher rates of shrinkage were two to four times as likely to develop dementia as those with larger volumes and a slower rate of brain cell wasting, or atrophy.

“This finding seems to reflect that at the stage of mild cognitive impairment, considerable atrophy has already occurred in the hippocampus,” said study author Wouter Henneman, M.D., of VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. “In people who already have Alzheimer’s disease, the loss of nerve cells is more widespread throughout the brain.”
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Re: If Your Hippocampus Is Bigger Than Normal, Don't Worry About Getting Alzheimer's

Postby TheBrain » Sun Jan 28, 2018 12:04 pm

Can You Grow your Hippocampus? Yes. Here’s How, and Why It Matters

Recent human studies have shown that there are 700 new brain cells in the hippocampus every day. Most of these neurons, however, do not survive. In their new-born (pre-mature) phase, they need a great deal of support to survive, grow, and become an active member of the hippocampal community of neurons.

Research shows that we have the capacity to grow new neurons above and beyond what is generally produced in our hippocampus and to make them become mature and strong within weeks and months.


The best way to generate new hippocampal neurons is to exercise. In one study comparing brains of two groups of mice, the group that was assigned to running (lived in a cage with a running wheel in it) generated far more new neurons in their hippocampus than the group that was assigned to a regular cage without a running refill. Other studies have shown that people who exercise regularly and are physically fit have a much bigger hippocampus. The more you walk, the bigger your hippocampus will get and the less would be your risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease. One study showed that walking one mile a day lowers the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by 48%.


The fascinating new neuroscience discoveries have provided compelling evidence on how other simple lifestyle interventions can also grow the hippocampus size. Stress reduction and meditation, for example, have been shown to substantially expand the volume of hippocampus. Treatment of sleep apnea, with using a CPAP machine, is another way you can grow your hippocampus.


And there’s more...
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Re: If Your Hippocampus Is Bigger Than Normal, Don't Worry About Getting Alzheimer's

Postby circular » Sun Jan 28, 2018 5:08 pm

Great thread Brain! I’m very grateful for you pointing out that even just a mile a day of walking has a significant beneficial impact on the hippocampus. We always hear how important intense aerobic exercise is — and it is — but I can’t do it for physical reasons, which has been so discouraging. Now I can feel even better about my walks :D

Amazing about your hippocampus size :shock:
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Re: If Your Hippocampus Is Bigger Than Normal, Don't Worry About Getting Alzheimer's

Postby Jan » Sun Jan 28, 2018 5:41 pm

I like this. So now, instead of "Darn, I have to go exercise" I can think of it as "Out of my way, I'm gonna go grow my hippocampus!" Maybe Fitbit should morph their 'steps' and 'miles' to 'mm increase in hippocampus size' milestones? :-)
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Re: If Your Hippocampus Is Bigger Than Normal, Don't Worry About Getting Alzheimer's

Postby circular » Sun Jan 28, 2018 5:46 pm

If you set your fitbit to show activity minutes on the ‘home screen’, the little flower with leaves added to its stem the longer you are ‘active’ might be a good standin for neurons growing ;)
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Re: If Your Hippocampus Is Bigger Than Normal, Don't Worry About Getting Alzheimer's

Postby Jan » Sun Jan 28, 2018 5:53 pm

circular wrote:If you set your fitbit to show activity minutes on the ‘home screen’, the little flower with leaves added to its stem the longer you are ‘active’ might be a good standin for neurons growing ;)

I do have minutes on my home screen, but don't see a flower with leaves. Mine has a lightning bolt. And, uh oh, it happens to be at zero right now. I've been on the computer too long!
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Re: If Your Hippocampus Is Bigger Than Normal, Don't Worry About Getting Alzheimer's

Postby Jan » Sun Jan 28, 2018 5:58 pm

Oh, wait, there's another screen, active steps per hour, with an arc that colors the tiny circles red if I did 250+ steps per hour. Ok, not too bad for today, but ... not sure how much my hippocampus benefitted. It doesn't feel any larger at the moment ...
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