ACTRIMS is the Americas Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis and ACTRIMS2021 is their annual conference where this years findings are presented. The article that caught the attention of this author was the one that mentioned cognitive decline.
In particular, the committee was considering MS Patients who exhibit cognitive decline without other physical impairments. You can read the original Multiple Sclerosis News Today article here.
The current treatments are becoming so effective at treating and controlling the MS patient’s motor control symptoms that the cognitive effects of the disease will become far more apparent.
Because these “cognitively challenged” patients will be harder to identify, the committee wants the “cognitive predominant” MS to be a clinical and research priority.
MS is known to be a disease of the central nervous system (CNS) and is causal in the appearance of brain fog. But, is cognitive decline inevitable.Or, can some reduction in activity even be beneficial?
Learned helplessness is commonly associated with conditioned reflex. This condition is described by Dave Chappelle in this video where he talks about how growing up a little slow helped him overcome his fear of public speaking, getting his master’s degree, and so on.
What is Cognitive Decline
But, there is no such thing as pure reflection. And what is also true about conditioned reflex is that it will always remain when you ease off the pedal. I know a lot of people who are free of memory loss, but this discourse would cover a lot more bases.
It also has to be noted that one has to recover quickly from environmental stimulation. Remember, cordless chairs allow you to perform creative work in comfort. Internet access was also a huge help for me too. Performing in front of crowds might be easier when you are not attached to wires and equipment.
Let’s compare two persons who are, on the one hand, highly active. The one enjoys working hard every day and has met all his goals for the day. The other is relatively inactive and often has problems with rest and sleep.
Asis has a lack of variety in his day-to-day activities. He has to decide what to work on next, which task to do next, how each task should be completed, etc.
In contrast, the one who enjoys rest and relaxation prefers to stay in bed and relax. He directs his attention to a specific topic and worked quietly and intensely. He often doses off.
Cognitive function is about the ability to use memory, reasoning, attention, and language. It not only plays a role in the ability to learn new things. But also helps us remember information that was previously learned. For example, you are able to remember your own phone number even though you haven’t used it in a long time. You may also have experienced difficulties with cognitive function due to stress, depression, or lack of sleep. These negatibe actions can reult in cognitive decline.
A lot of us try to get ahead by engaging in repetitive activities. It is only after we break our back (in terms of repetitive neurophysiology) that we discover the value of rest. Whenever you have to focus on something for a prolonged period, you will start to lose track of time and become lost.
But this doesn’t necessarily spell cognitive decline. Dozing off, showering, reading a book, going for a walk, etc. can all be considered relatively mindful activities.
If you happen to be strictly a morning person, consider doing all of the above in the morning, thus setting yourself up for and reinforcing a morning routine.
I needed to train and experiment with the new Pedometer. Once I got it, I got addicted to it. I used it during walks, while I wrote, while I did my exercise, etc.
Doing “mindful” activities during the day clears my mind to think deeply and ponder on something important to me. Or, my meditation often gets interrupted by other orders.
Let us see the implication of cognitive decline for every stage of life. The prior post made clear that only a few years of age a child may display impaired short term memory, learning, attention span, motor coordination, and neurological functioning in school. But, as per age the child may display impaired long term memory, learning, attention span etc. as per the perils of ageing!
I have mentioned the 9 Cognitive Signs of Ageing. But, which makes a long term difference? Does the decline in a person’s attractive physical and mental faculties also bring harm in the long run? Here we can think of the impact on the economy and society.
Danger of Cognitive Decline
I am not denying the 100 Billion dollar industry that dementia can evolve into late-onset Alzheimer’s disease (ALD). There is good evidence that Alzheimer’s disease (AD) has a lower mortality rate than that of other causes.
Further, a famous US Presidential Study had earlier proven that up to 11 million people in USA were living with undiagnosed dementia or mild cognitive impairment.
But, keeping in perspective, the Research Group on late-onset Alzheimer’s disease (ROGAD) suggested that there is good evidence that up to 3 million people in the USA have dementia at present. Estimates from other Western countries show a similar figure. And, worldwide there to 300–400 million individuals with undiagnosed dementia or mild cognitive impairment, is the higher figure. So, I don’t see a sizeable difference.
What about the education sector? About 38.6% of the population in USA aged between 44-69 have deep-seated cognitive impairment. To put it in perspective, 60% are above 55. In other words, 34-45-year-olds have a deep-seated cognitive impairment which People with education may have increased their time taken back. Thus People with education are at higher risk to develop cognitive and even problems leading to early death.
There are growing issues of elderly care, not simply cognitive decline. As per a & b, US Government spends about $740 Billion on Nursing home Care and the same amount on Dementia Care each year.
Now, if People with Education develop problems because of their decreased attention span, motor coordination, concentration etc, the costs may spiral.
Imagine the burden on mental health healthcare providers, hospitals, students and society.
Another implication is in the social security sector. People may be more eligible to Receive social security benefits if they have deep seated cognitive impairment like, Alzheimer’s disease.
This year, the company made the case about the slowing of the disease due to a number of factors.
Social Security Burden
Here are the arguments:
- mental agility is improving rapidly to the point that those without symptoms may survive the pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns.
As I have discussed, this has led to the U.S. trading at a record level of $5900 last week! Since the work load of most is removed in lockdown, the number of those missing may thankfully go from our current estimates of 144 million.
- the company outlines its “A series of strategic initiatives and investments” to enable the customer journey to be smoother, better managed, and ultimately more profitable.
I touched upon these earlier but the gist is as follows: Global sales grew 30% in the last 3 months, generating $ 3.75 bln in revenue, whereas headcount has not increased year-over-year at 5,750 employees, or 20%.
I do not expect a 2020 cash-flow recession, which the company has cited for 2018’s shrinking revenue and EBITDA margins, a clear indication that the sales engine powered by its customers, not its factories and logistics, is forging ahead strongly.
Speaking of customers, here is another evidence point: MS Continuum’s demo centres were underutilised in 2020 and indicated a “key opportunity for optimization”.
In short, 2020 has not been a year to panic, as implied by some reactions, which I interpret as a body count, rather than an increasing healthy cohort keeping the average with ageing.
Finally, the acceleration of the company’s National Innovation Service has been phenomenal. I had a chance to catch up with CEO Hans Vestberg and here are our highlights from the interview.
Oracle CEO Safra Catz is looking forward to 2021 with panache “This is going to be a landmark year for Oracle. It’s a once in a lifetime kind of year. It’s truly a once-in-a-lifetime event when people define the scope of Oracle’s mission and purpose”.
It sounded like a marketing slogan to me, to be honest. But, now I see it towards the website of the company. A bold face along with a bold foresight.
In 2021, the company will offer a lot more: more content, more support, more platforms. In a recent interesting move, Oracle is also strengthening its regional team to the tune of 40% and creating 400 new roles with headquarters in Menlo Park, CA, called Oracle Remote. Remote employees will benefit mainly from the expanded location adjustments and less commuting time. Now, Oracle’s hardware distribution platforms, RedHat and Impact Technology, will be at the mercy of the universal new cloud — Scroogel.
Will the brain shrinkage of multiple sclerosis lead to the onset of dementia. It is certainly a factor in general cognitive decline.
Inflammation of the brain tissue leads to brain atrophy. Brain shrinkage causes cognitive impairment and may bring on dementia. Brain fog limits thinking and memory.
What is the best strategy to reduce and even reverse brain inflammation brought about by aging and lifestyle changes? How do we protect the brain from damage inflicted by diseases and illnesses?
The idea that inflammation can be a marker of neurodegenerative diseases has taken root. However, studies on the relationship between inflammation and disease are sparse. We do know that inflammation increases with age and contributes to neurodegenerative diseases and cognitive decline.
As cellular stress levels rise, they impair the body’s ability to use mitochondria for cellular energy.
Scientists have been looking for medicines to lower inflammation and restore neurons, critical for healthy brain functions. Researchers have also been focusing on reducing and even preventing some of the effects of inflammation. By means of diet, exercise, and supplements.
Brain Size and Cognitive Decline
The brain is composed of two major regions, the cerebral cortex, making up about one-third of the brain, and the limbic system, or memory region, comprising the rest of the brain. The limbic system is involved with emotional responses and memory formation. The cerebral cortex is responsible for voluntary movement.
The changes associated with age-related brain changes are deficits in brain functioning and mobility. Mainly caused by low blood flow in the brain.
Direct injections of anti-inflammatory drugs (which has helped in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis) improve motor and cognitive impairments. Activated microglia, immune cells responsible for repressing inflammation, also contribute to the development of Alzheimer’s disease.
Medications such as aprotinin, a drug used to reduce cognitive decline and associated brain shrinkage with aging, have also shown promise. In addition, the antioxidant vitamin E has also been shown to benefit brain functions. In fact, major depression and also dementia can be reversed if the vitamin E deficiency is corrected.
A number of factors can affect brain health and the damage brought about by changes with age and life events. It has been estimated that between three and seven per cent of the population may have dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
The cognitive decline of Alzheimer’s disease
Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease may result from an accumulation of a number of factors. This happens because the aggregation of damage causes damage to the neuronal functioning. There are many causes for the development of dementia affecting the brain, but inflammation of the brain is tied to both the normal aging of the brain and the development of Alzheimer’s disease.
Inflammation has been linked to the “plaques and tangles” characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease. These are single-celled products of damaged tissue. Left unchecked, this process leads to oxidative damage of the brain tissue. This damage causes the formation of beta-amyloid plaques, the hallmark feature of Alzheimer’s disease.
Urbanization kills nature and human connection. We all suffer from chronic inflammation and many strategies exist to cope with this condition.
But changing the way you’re living can also alter your immune system because of lifestyle habits like lack of sleep and chronic stress.
I’ve learned that a good starting point for a positive immune system is a healthy microbiome, the balance between your good and bad bacteria (good bacteria support your immune system, while bad bacteria can destroy it!). In this article, I’ll share my personal struggle with mental health, stress, food and sleep to see if any of the ideas I share can help.
EXERCISES TO INTERRUPT YOUR BRAIN
As my real estate license required me to learn firsthand, I spent my summers in the states doing advertisement design while still in college. I had a motto: I was always on the lookout for currency, the idea of which had become my office moniker.
So one of my duties as a designer was to find assets where I could inject some modernity and value that my campaign would have to appeal to. Given the low-demand market for strip malls in North America at the time, I started searching diligently for houses to build my buildings out of.
I knew they were living in a time where content marketing and digital marketing were hot, so I decided I would use these properties as laboratory ready environments to understand how people felt when they lived there because I couldn’t spend months just observing properties that became hate-sites for cities.
Although not completely scientific, my findings turned up some interesting results. For example, I found out that houses that were locatbrain fog and hearing lossed in popular tourist areas like beach towns had nicer interiors and a longer climb to get to the top of the hill than those in less-popular/easier-to-travel areas.
Cognitive Decline and Art Therapy
In another study, I visited the use of rugs in wealthy countries and lower-income countries. In the low-income country houses were much more like the one in “Avatar” than they were in “Harry Potter.” Rich countries used rugs in the most exotic of locations, while low-income countries, who typically had suffered decades of poverty, chose modest colours and simple patterns for their rugs.
Another study proved that coaching athletes to develop better habits can improve athletic performance. Subjects played a computer game in which they had to collect coins in order to advance to the next level. Unexpectedly, those individuals who were the least fit throughout the study collected the most coins, beating the highest-fit participants by a mere five coins.
A potential link between brain fog and hearing loss due to traumatic brain injury was demonstrated too. The brain has other mechanisms at play.
These impairments are typically mild and go away with rest. However, they often disrupt daily experiences. The good news is, we can reduce the burden on the brain by taking care of its wounds, daily medications, rest, exercise, and art therapy combined with cognitive, emotional, and lifestyle modifications.
This article has summarized the evidence supporting the healing power of art in the brain. Medical director Dr. Allan Snyder, board-certified in spine surgery appeared before the US Congress. He testified on behalf of National Federation of State Medical Boards and the American Academy of Hearing Impaired.
Art therapy can gently alter moods, choose thoughts, set goals, and improve cognition. A growing evidence base supports its impact on the integrity of the brain tissue.
The evidence derives from multiple small controlled studies addressing how art therapy changes symptoms or function, what is involved, and outcomes.
This versatile art treatment is easy to learn and will get immediate results, and it’s safe. It’s a form of brain hygiene that meets numerous recommendations as part of a well-balanced, evidence-based comprehensive approach.
Art therapy offers a simple, non-invasive, low-cost intervention for a healthier mind and a happier brain. It generally makes patients report better quality of life and improves their brain function and ability to think clearly.Allan S. Snyder MD
Upper cervical radiology and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan, cognitive testing, and clinical evaluation of impairments are three essential components of the art treatment.
Art therapy has been used for more than two millennia in India. But, with socioeconomic differences, this technique is inaccessible for most Americans. Artist Brett Jacobs exemplifies the rise of art therapy. He’s not the first American to use art to enhance cognition.
Numerous scholarly articles and exceptional artists have applied art in strategic ways for years.
To understand the preconditions, the neuroscientific basis, and utilization of art therapy for treating neurological disorders, we draw insight from the original clinical studies. We also discuss art therapy¹s role as a low-risk brain supplement to enhance cognition and managing mood.
Brain fog is an important issue that deserves much attention by the scientific community, especially those researchers studying the neural basis of cognition.
These studies summarize three key mechanisms for reducing brain injury, inflammation, and oxidative stress associated with brain tissue damage.
Concrete and tactile stimulation changes cortical regions of the brain.
A lot of work has gone into bringing you this post. We hope you found it interesting and informative. If you have a question, please ask it in the comments at the foot of this post.
If you don’t have a question you can use the comment to say “Hi”. If you have MS – stay strong and follow the warrior code.