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The science behind brain fog – how stress unglues your brain
I’ve had a rough few weeks. My to-do-list has exploded, while my actually doing list, has made little to no progress.
I seriously feel like I am coming apart at the seams.
And, in moments of panic and anguish, have flippantly remarked, to anyone who will listen, that “I am coming unglued”.
Researchers from Switzerland have discovered there is more to this terminology, than meets the eye. It turns out, the phrase “I am coming unglued”, is not a “cute” way to describe the rather unpleasant feelings, associated with being under pressure. It quite literally describes what is happening inside a brain, subject to chronic stress.
Making rats GO CRAZY
The team made the breakthrough, when they studied exactly what was happening inside the brain’s of rats, that had deliberately been stressed out.
Just like humans, it is relatively easy to stress out a rat.
All you need to do –
- is take away their freedom, by confining them in a small space and
- take away their friends, for a short while each day.
After 3 weeks of this treatment, you’ll have a freaked out rat, suffering from personality disorders, thanks to chronic stress.
The team confirmed that ….
In stressful moments
The body responds to chronic stress with a flood of “stress hormones”, such a cortisol. The stress chemicals are designed to help manage the stressful situation. And in the short term, the effects are good, but pro-longed exposure………………..
Creates more stress.
In the case of freaked out neurons, there goto stress chemical, is a neurotransmitter known as glutamate.
One of the ways glutamate brings a little stress relief, is it dispatchs a synapse clean up crew. Among the members of the team, tasked with cleaning up the links between nerves, is an enzyme known as matrix metalloproteinase, MMP-9 for short.
The team found that MMP-9’s big job, is to cut the sticky tape, known as nectin-3, that hold nerves together.
A minor clean up is refreshing….
Brain fog begins….
In the chronically stressed brain….
- Thanks to the continuous activity, of the clean up crew,
- And difficulties in finding the end of the sticky tape, due to overwhelm
more and more nerves become…………………. UNGLUED.
Your brain unglued
The old connections are “missing”, so things that you should know, are nowhere to be found. And, new stuff – just never gets integrated into the circuitry.
The overall result…..
And bad behaviour.
The brain owner is grouchy, grumpy, nasty, distracted and forgetful.
Avoid sticky situations
So………….. if you don’t want to come UNGLUED, literally and figuratively – you need to manage your stress levels.
A little stress will help you perform better, but too much creates a sticky situation.
The ability to taste sugar is seriously compromised following a stress full moment. Could this lack of sweet relief be the reason for the empty packet ?
Watch how you store your veggies – a dark cold fridge will not make your cabbage think it is under attack, something you want your cabbage to do.
The fear of being eaten is enough to kill dragonfly larvae. Situations, circumstances and PEOPLE threaten to consume us on a daily basis ………….
Interested in learning more about the chemistry behind brain fog ?
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