Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Understanding mental function and how it can be improved

When we speak about increasing our ability to focus and think clearly it is important to understand the way in which our brain works.

The most basic concepts which we need to understand is the workings of the brain cell which is called a neuron.

For our discussion right now the only part of the neuron which is going to be focused on is the synaptic gap. This is the bridge between one neuron and the next.

What I am going to explain is the acute or short term increase in focus and concentration like that which is caused by pharmaceuticals such as Adderall and Ritalin.

Long term brain health is a very different topic which I will talk about in a different post.

But for right now our main focus (no pun intended) is going to be the synaptic gap and the neurotransmitter acetylcholine.

In the brain, acetylcholine functions as a neurotransmitter and as a neuromodulator. The brain contains a number of cholinergic areas, each with distinct functions. They play an important role in arousal, attention, memory and motivation.
The way that these drugs work to improve our ability to concentrate is they do two things.

1-\tThey increase the secretion of acetylcholine
2-\tThey inhibit (stop) the reuptake of acetylcholine

In this way the concentration and duration of acetylcholine in the synaptic gap is increased.

This in term increases the ability to focus.

Natural supplements that also perform the same way are:

•\tCiticoline – our body is able to transform citicoline into phosphatidylcholine which is a precursor of acetylcholine.
•\tBacopa monnieri herb – inhibits acetylcholinestrase which is an enzyme that brakes down acetylcholine in the synaptic gap.

I would suggest that any supplement that you are thinking about taking to improve mental focus should have these two in it.

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