[Neuroscience] Re: why did humans grow a bigger neocortex?

John H. via neur-sci%40net.bio.net (by bingblat from goaway.com.au)
Fri Jul 27 01:04:49 EST 2007

The trick Peter may be not only to eat well but eat little. Mark P. Mattson
has done fascinating research on caloric restriction and brain function. I
have an article of his in my archives, somewhere ..., "Take away my food and
watch my brain run". At present evolutionary style explanations are invoked
to explain this effect but I don't buy it. Simply reducing tryglyceride
levels may prevent inflammation being mediated by systemic factors and this
could have clear implications for BDNF in particular.

CR is not possible for most of us but we don't need to go that far. More
research is indicating that just moderate fasting twice a week will help
create the same effect. One study even found CR more beneficial than
exercise. Another study I read found that just keeping the mice lean was as
effective as CR. What many do not appreciate is that body fat, perhaps in
particular visceral fat, tends to promote the production of inflammatory
mediators. Also, as little as 300 calories of sugar can induce a measurable
increase in plasma reactive oxygen species. (by the way, some cancer cells
love sugar, I have seen studies that indicate even a ketogenic diet can
remarkably inhibit tumour growth). So in our high sugar, obese culture it is
not surprising we see cancer, diabetes, CHD, and dementia rates rising.

"Entertained by my own EIMC" <write_to_eimc from ozemail.com.au> wrote in message
news:46a97008$0$31403$5a62ac22 from per-qv1-newsreader-01.iinet.net.au...
> "John H." <bingblat from goaway.com.au> wrote in message
> news:13ainml3bqvfd74 from corp.supernews.com...
> >
> > "Entertained by my own EIMC" <write_to_eimc from ozemail.com.au> wrote in
> > message
> > news:46a84d24$0$31439$5a62ac22 from per-qv1-newsreader-01.iinet.net.au...
> >> Hi John,
> >>
> >> You write write really well about what's wanting - and you write with
> >> admirable specificity.
> >>
> >> I _do_ agree with you - given the way you presented the problems of
> >> understanding things.
> >>
> >> Since I got the sense that the amyloidal protein tangles that appear to
> >> be
> >> part of the structural symptoms of  Alzheimer's disease loomed large
> >> (associatively only - nothing else!) in your lobes when you wrote
> >> below, I will say this:
> >>
> >> I think a very well hedged bet on what is a key contributory cause of
> >> Alzheimer's (however, I could quite easily place the same kind of bet
> >> several other baskets too) is some conditioned-in source of stress that
> > has
> >> (or that in the case of certain genomes can have) this kind of of
> >> "camel's-back-braking" effect.
> >
> > Yes, there is a molecular underpinning to this. Specifically,
> > glucocorticoids can induce the expression of amyloid. What needs to be
> > studied here is how glucocorticoids affect the balance of amyloids 1-40,
> > 1-42. Interestingly the hippocampus is amongst the first regions to be
> > affected by neurodegeneration and this region is very rich in gc
> > receptors.
> > Ongoing stressors throughout the day will also induce spikes in
> > pro-inflammatory mediators which are probably contributing to amyloid
> > expression. So we should not be too surprised at an epidemic of
> > because we live in a peaceful yet very stressful culture.
> >
> >
> >> Of course I would prefer to call this conditioned-in source of stress
> >> "CURSES in the actention selection serving system" rather than "Pain,
> >> primal pain, in the brain".
> >>
> >> I don't think we will be so lucky that we end up discovering that
> > something
> >> as simple as virus (that has some vulnerability that allow us to
> >> vaccinate
> >> against it) is the cause.
> >
> > There are many paths to enlightenment and there are many paths to
> > dementias.
> > Genetic predisposition doesn't figure that highly except for the early
> > onset
> > Alz, overall environmental factor appear far more determinative.
> > systemic inflammation, head injury (even a few mild concussions), bad
> > stress
> > management, poor diet, pollution, heart disease, diabetes, poor sleep,
> > chronic circadian disruption, lack of exercise .... . I sometimes get
> > impression that we are too preoccupied looking for a specific cause,
> > are many causes and there may not be a final common pathway but many
> > pathways.
> I eat rather well most of the time, these days, and there are no cases of
> Alz in my family history (AFAIK), but otherwise I can only hope that the
> saying "all roads lead to Rome" does not apply to me.
> Lottie, our poodle-person, will get an extra long afternoon-walk today.
> Thanks to you, John. :-)

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