Do You Have leaky Brain Syndrome?

Your brain is like a powerful command centre, surrounded by a wall to prevent enemy elements from breaching security. Damage to the wall undermines the strength of the command centre. The blood brain barrier is that wall. If compromised, the brain is left vulnerable to assault and subsequent mental health problems

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Why You Crave Junk Food

Feeding potato chips to rats makes them want more, even when they are already full. Humans are remarkably similar. Open that bag and you know how it will end. Even so, go easy on yourself; you’re not weak, you’re normal. Your brain is responding the way it is programmed to respond. The trick is to short-circuit the system — the brain’s reward system.

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How Exercise Changes Your Brain and Your Mood

Beyond the runner’s high lies a biochemical process that is part of the brain’s growth and repair system. Central to that process is a protein called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). BDNF protects existing brain cells from damage. It strengthens the synapses (a synapse is the structure between nerves, through which messages are transmitted), and helps form new synapses. BDNF is also involved in a process called neurogenesis, the creation of new brain cells.

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Why Giving Up Sugar Is So Good For Your Mental Health

Sugar makes you fat, which is bad enough. But can it really make you depressed? Clinically depressed, even? The evidence is compelling, and it’s a journey that starts with a mild blood sugar imbalance and can end with serious mental illness. Each step of that journey is fuelled by sugar, or more specifically, glucose.

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How Stress Makes You Overeat — And How to Stop it

Stress is bad for your mental health. It’s not great for your heart or immune health, either. Furthermore — and just to rub salt into your wounds — it can also make you fat. But the consequences of stress are not inevitable: once you understand what’s going on, you can fight back.

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The five best diet hacks to transform your mental health

There are many dietary factors that can affect brain function. Here I focus on the five that I encountered most frequently in clinic. The clue to identifying the right one(s) often lies in the accompanying physical symptoms. If you suffer from depression and anxiety, you too might spot the clues. Here’s a guide to nutritional sleuthing for mental well-being.

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How to Detox Your Brain

Sometimes described as “cellular housekeeping”, autophagy — meaning “self-eating” in Greek – is a process that takes place in all mammalian cells and tissues. It was in the 1960s that researchers first became aware that each cell can destroy its own components. These components include damaged proteins and organelles, considered to be “common features of neurodegenerative diseases”, such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease.

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Brain on Fire — How Inflammation Damages Mental Health

Inflammation is often visible and painful. Red, angry swellings make their presence felt. Yet sometimes inflammation is invisible and painless; you would never know it was there. When inflammation flares in the brain, it does so silently. Chronic, low-grade inflammation in the brain is a factor in the development of many neurodegenerative diseases, including depression and dementia. It is also seen in Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and Huntington’s disease.

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How Your Gut Talks to Your Brain and Changes Your Mood

It is a curious fact that antidepressants are a common treatment for irritable bowel syndrome. But why give Prozac to someone with abdominal pain? Antidepressants work because the gut and brain are inextricably linked. What happens in the gut does not stay in the gut — it travels to the brain. More than half of all patients with IBS are affected by a mood disorder.

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