Video duration 01 minutes 40 seconds
How does the brain change over the years? And what happens in the case of a concussion? What is the importance of activity for dementia patients? The answers and more are in this report.
How does the brain change with age?
By putting data together from around the world, we now have a comprehensive view of changes in the brain from childhood to adulthood, according to an article by authors Richard Bethleham and Jacob Seidlitz in The Independent.
These stages include:
The first stage
Gray matter (brain cells) increases rapidly in a baby (fetus) from mid-gestation onwards, peaking before age 6, and then slowly beginning to decline.
The second phase
The volume of white matter (brain connections) also increases rapidly from mid-pregnancy through early childhood, peaking before age 29 years. The volume of gray matter in the subcortex, which controls basic bodily functions and behavior, reaches its peak in adolescence, around the age of 14 and a half.
Accelerated reduction of white matter volume after the age of fifty.
The bubble burst.. this is what happens in a concussion
We turn to the topic of concussion, where scientists worked on the subject of trauma to the brain, and their experimental results proved the correctness of the possible appearance of bubbles in the cerebrospinal fluid that would cause damage to neurons, according to a report by David LaRosseri, published by the French newspaper Le Monde. .
“About 7 to 10% of the 35,000 to 50,000 annual injuries we see are in emergency situations in the Ile-deaux region,” says Philippe Deck, head of the neurosurgery department at Beaugonne Hospital, and a member of several groups that worked on this topic in the French Federation and the International Rugby Federation. France is linked to sports, and in rugby, there are two hits per day, out of 14 tournaments.”
Impairments in brain function
The author explains that the diagnosis is not simple because the symptoms and criteria are numerous, and they can appear 24 to 48 hours after the trauma. The loss of consciousness is not permanent, not to mention other abnormalities in brain function, such as memory problems, a disturbed mental state or loss of balance.
But the origin of these diseases is not well known. “The trauma leads to a cellular malfunction in the brain that consumes a lot of energy and takes time to recover,” says Dick.
For their part, physicists from the Polytechnic School tested another idea put forward by other physicists in the 1970s: bubbles in the cerebrospinal fluid whose internal burst destroys neurons.
The energy of bubbles scans the brain
An experimental analogue is designed for the athlete’s brain, dropping a water-filled cylinder onto different, more or less rigid bodies in order to vary the intensity of the shock and the time of the impact. During the impact a bubble about one millimeter in diameter explodes in a shock wave capable of damaging neurons, and can also cause a relatively strong flow of fluid towards the brain and damage it.
After modeling the energy released by these bubbles, Juliette Amojer, a doctoral student on this project led by Caroline Cohen and Christophe Clanet, found a result well known since working on road accidents in the 1960s. According to these studies, concussion risks depend on the intensity of the shock (50 to 150 times Earth’s gravity) and time (2 to 20 milliseconds).
A short shock is only dangerous if it is severe, while a long shock can be harmful even if it is weak. This is the law that physicists found. “Even if we do not yet have in vivo evidence for this phenomenon to occur in these conditions, the hypothesis is plausible and the work is intriguing,” Dick notes.
What is the importance of activity for dementia patients?
Laura May, a member of the German Alzheimer’s Association, said that activity is of great importance to patients with dementia, as it has a positive effect on their memory ability, which helps them retain some of their skills and independence, according to a German news agency report.
She explained that, for example, relatives can entrust patients with some simple daily tasks such as cleaning, taking into account giving them clear instructions as follows: You can dust the windowsill in the living room with this rag.
May added that routine tasks help dementia patients feel safe and able to direct and organize, for example a dementia patient can be assigned to bring mail from the mailbox every day.
Triggers for a dementia patient
Another form of activity is providing stimuli to the dementia patient in order to talk about them. For example, relatives can choose topics that interest the patient, such as hobbies and personal preferences. For example, if the patient is interested in fashion and sewing clothes, the relatives can put a box containing different materials in front of him to see them, touch them and hold them in order to feel them, and then talk about them with regard to their texture and uses.
Another example: Relatives could place some kitchen utensils or utensils on a table in front of the dementia patient, and then ask him to look for one, and then talk about it and what can be done with it.
In general, it is taken into account that these tasks do not take a long time, since dementia patients face difficulties in concentrating, so it is better that the task duration does not exceed 10 minutes, taking into account the acceptance of the matter in the event the patient refuses to complete the task.
It is worth noting that dementia is a continuous deterioration in brain functions that results in disturbances in cognitive abilities such as: memory and thinking. Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia.