Ep. 46- Stimulate Your Brain for Better Mental Health

With Dr. Harry Steinbusch and Connor Wander

Use it or lose it? Stimulating your brain for better mental health is about more than just going outside. You stimulate your brain through social interaction, exercise, traveling, and learning new things. This, in turn, changes your brain for the better. This episode is about the links between mental health and neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s, and how common strategies for better mental health have great promise for Alzheimer’s disease treatment. the best protective strategies for Alzheimer’s disease are things that improve mental health, such as trying new things and staying active. Alzheimer’s disease is a terrifying neurodegenerative disorder characterized by impaired memory, cognitive deficits, and neuronal loss. With few treatments and no cure after decades of research, scientists are starting to think outside the box for better ways to ward off Alzheimer’s disease.

In this episode, we talk with Dr. Harry Steinbusch from Maastricht University. Dr. Steinbusch has a wide array of research interests centered mostly around how everyday activities might help protect against neurodegenerative disorders, and how genetic modifications like epigenetics are important in disorders like Alzheimer’s disease. We also talk about how Dr. Steinbusch runs his lab from all over the world, and his founding of the AD Fast Track conference

Some actionable mental health tips :

  • Use it or lose it – an active brain is a healthy brain! Learning new things and traveling to new places stimulates adult neurogenesis, the birth and development of new neurons in the brain
  • Exercise, particularly group exercise, was found to be most beneficial
  • Learning more than one language is also linked to better mental health

Citations and further reading:

  1. Andrew Crowther, soon to be PhD from the Song Lab talks with Connor Wander about his research- serotonin and adult neurogenesis.
  2. More about the brain on multiple languages
  3. Epigenetic changes in Alzheimer’s disease neurons
  4. Some other great places to start for exercise induced neurogenesis.

This episode marks the final part of the AD Fast Track series. Check out all previous episodes, and stay tuned for more some summary episodes on Alzheimer’s disease.

Listen to the rest of the Alzheimer’s Fast Track Series

Any other questions?  Let us know!  We appreciate your feedback.

You can now support the podcast at https://www.patreon.com/sfspodcast.  Many thanks to our past and present supporters! 

Thanks to Plant Warrior for their support.  Use discount code SFS10 at checkout for 10% off your purchase of plant-based protein.

Join the discussion!