A Starting Place for learning about Myelin and How it Affects Your Cognitive Function
I’m obsessed with cognitive function. As I was taking an online course on the meditative brain , I was reminded that we lose myelin as we age – I did some research. I want to increase my myelin. Myelin is the fatty white/grey substance that surrounds the axon of the nerve cells, forming a layer. It is essential for the proper functioning of the nervous system. Demyelination is the loss of the myelin sheath insulating the nerves, and is the hallmark of some autoimmune diseases neurodegenerative ones, including multiple sclerosis. Demyelination results in diverse symptoms determined by the functions of the affected neurons. It disrupts signals between the brain and other parts of the body; symptoms differ from patient to patient, and have different presentations upon clinical observation and in laboratory studies.
Typical symptoms include:
- blurriness in the central visual field that affects only one eye, may be accompanied by pain upon eye movement
- double vision
- loss of vision/hearing
- odd sensation in legs, arms, chest, or face, such as tingling or numbness
- weakness of arms or legs
- cognitive disruption, including speech impairment and memory loss
- heat sensitivity (symptoms worsen or reappear upon exposure to heat, such as a hot shower)
- loss of dexterity
- difficulty coordinating movement or balance disorder
- difficulty controlling bowel movements or urination
So lets try and preserve as much of our “ grey matter” as possible.
A few things to consider BEFORE reading this article … you may not want to just take the supplements listed in the article until you get comprehensive blood work to know your deficiencies. HOWEVER there are some great ayurvedic supplements listed that just about anyone can take – Ashwaganda and Goto Kola which I take both of.
You will also need a very proficient doctor to help you analyze your blood work. I have my blood work done twice a year and it was not until I found a very good doctor, did I get on the supplements that I really needed.
And the list was long… copper, pregnanalone, progesterone ( 10 days before monthly cycle) and so on … I am a huge fan of comprehensive blood work twice a year, and almost all insurance companies cover this.
If you can- get it done- unless we know our baselines there is nowhere else to go.
The article also mentions ketosis as a way to increase myelin, but again, be careful with ketosis. I am a low carb girl since I met Dr. Barry Sears (author of the Zone) at a fitness trade show in 1999.
The Zone was the second most influential eating program of my life. Fit For Life was my first, I read it in college and LOVED it. I recently came across an ancient copy in a lending library and I may have swapped it out for a less exciting but more current book J . Thanks Gurney's Inn!
Before the Zone, there was the Atkins diet and in most recent years the South Beach Diet, the Paleo Diet, and so on… I personally don’t like the word diet. But in any event. Ketosis is great to a point . And to that point only.
Ketosis is a popular weight loss strategy. Low-carb eating plans which stress proteins for fueling your body. In addition to helping your burn body fat, ketosis can make you feel less hungry. But it can also make you grouchy and tired. However It also helps you maintain muscles.
For healthy people who don't have diabetes and aren't pregnant, ketosis usually kicks in after 3 or 4 days of eating less than 50 grams of carbohydrates per day. That's about 3 slices of bread, a cup of low-fat fruit yogurt, or two small bananas. Fasting also creates ketosis by as well. Ketoacidosis is what happens when ketosis goes too far. Ketones build up in your blood, and it becomes acidic. Ketoacidosis can cause a death or a coma. It also makes you smell pretty funky as you are burning non stop fat- a good way to combat this is to take Chlorophyl. When I am in ketosis I take it by the glass every morning.
Anything done to extreme is dangerous. For years carbs were my enemy but now I eat carbs at least 3–days a week. I have more energy as a result.
Anyway, this is great starting place if you want to be sharper, smarter and more alert. In upcoming posts I will be writing on micro-dosing with nicotine patches, some cognitive enhancement supplements and more on being YOUR BEST SELF.