Saturday, June 12News That Matters

Editorial- November

                   Indian philosophy is based on positive thinking. Rigveda refers to positive thinking in core to improve capabilities. It further emphasizes that the person involved in good deeds experience divine happiness. Positivity in thought is directly connected to brain. Recently a study published in Psychological Science highlights the importance of positive affects with less memory decline in old ages. Positive affect is related to subjectivity experiences of joy, interest and alertness.  

                    Positive affect is linked to decrease in cortisol level and increase in serotonin level and dopamine level. Researches done on human and animals reveal the link of high cortisol with decreased gray matter in all brain regions. It is directly connected to neurodegeneration. Gray matter is associated with memory, attention and language. Hippocampal atrophy is connected to chronic rise in cortisol (Tatomir et al., 2014).

                   A work published in May, 2018 in Neuron relates serotonin with neuronal communication in hippocampal cornu ammonis (CA1) neurons through an experiment done of mouse brains using optogenetics. Reduced serotonin was observed with impaired spatial memory. Recent advancements in researches have shown the role of serotonin in pathophysiological processes involved learning and memory through various animal models and scanning of brain in humans.  

                Both serotonin and dopamine regulate mitochondrial movement and energy for neurons. Dopamine is produced in substantia nigra, ventral tegmental area and hypothalamus. Its decreased level in prefrontal cortex causes problem with working memory. Dopaminergic signaling in hippocampus is linked to episodic memory, attention and spatial learning.

              Liveliness with exercise and mental involvement in positive works are clues to avoid memory loss at older ages. Researches have shown positive effects of meditation and music in maintaining memory through better attention and happily moods. Meditation further improves positivity.