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PriorLiving Schweiz: Wie Altern das Gehirn beeinflusst

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Wie Altern das Gehirn beeinflusst

Warum erleben wir wenn wir altern, Veränderungen in unseren geistigen Fähigkeiten? Und was können wir machen um unseren Geist frisch zu erhalten?

Bis dato konnten Wissenschaftler nur wohl begründete Vermutungen als Antwort auf diese Fragen geben. Jetzt, dank der neuen hoch entwickelten, bildgebenden Kernspintomographie können die einzelnen Teile des Puzzles zusammengesetzt werden.

In diesem Abschnitt zeigen wir, wie das Altern das Gehirn verändern kann, wie das Altern das Gedächtnis beeinflusst und was man machen kann um das Gehirn frisch zu erhalten.

Einige der wichtigsten Informationen die Wissenschaftler über unser Gehirn gelernt haben, werden dargelegt. Diese Konzepte - basierend auf Tierversuchen und Kernspintomographiestudien - repräsentieren das jetztige Wissen wie das Altern das Gehirn beeinflusst.

Das Verstehen, wie und warum die Gehirnfunktionen sich verändern wenn wir altern, bringt uns zu neuen Therapien und medizinischen Behandlungen, die diese Prozesse verlangsamen, stoppen oder verhindern können.

Sicher, andere gesundheitliche Probleme - wie Bluthochdruck, Diabetes oder Gehörlosigkeit - die Menschen mit zunehmendem Alter haben oder bekommen können, spielen auch ein Rolle bei der Veränderung des Gehirns.

Bestimmte Veränderungen variieren von einer Person zu der nächsten und sind von ihrer medizinischen und psychologischen Historie abhängig.

  • Schrumpfen der Gehirnmasse
  • Die Grosshirnrinde wird dünner
  • Abnahme der weissen Gehirnsubstanz
  • Abnahme der chemischen Botenstoffe

Schrumfpen der Gehirnmasse. Im Alter von 60 oder 70 Jahren beginnt bei manchen Menschen die Gehirnmasse ein bisschen zu schrumpfen. Gewisse Gehirnbereiche schrumpfen mehr als andere. Dies beinhaltet den vorderen Stirnlappen ( wichtig für die geistigen Fähigkeiten ) und den Hippokampus ( wo neue Erinnerungen geformt werden ) .

Die Grosshirnrinde wird dünner. Die Kortex - die äussere, an Nervenzellen reiche Schicht de Grosshirns - wird im Alter leicht dünner. Dieser Prozess ist nicht, wie Wissenschaftler früher glaubten, das Resultat von einem ausgedehntem Verlust der Gehirnzellen sondern es ist höchst wahrscheinlich ein Resultat einer Abnahme der Verbindung von Synapsen ( ein Prozess, der schon im Alter von ca. 20 Jahren beginnt ). Synapsen sind wie Knotenpunkte. Sie ermöglichen die Kommunikation der Gehirnzellen miteinander und bilden Verbindungen aus.

Abnahme der weissen Gehirnsubstanz. Viele Studien haben das Altern mit der Abnahme der weissen Gehirnsubstanz erklärt (  Die weiße Färbung entsteht durch die Myelinscheiden der Nervenfasern). Myelin hilft die Kommunikation zwischen den Gehirnzellen zu verbessern.

Forschungen zeigen, dass die Veränderungen in der weissen Gehirnsubstanz einen direkten Einfluss auf die Geschwindigkeit der Verarbeitung von Wahrnehmungen haben. Dies beinhaltet das Gedächtnis, die Achtsamkeit, die Handlung, die Problemlösung und die Fähigkeit Entscheidungen zu treffen.

Es ist wichtig festzuhalten, dass altern kein Rückschritt ist, sondern, dass sich viele unsere Gaben und Fähigkeiten - einschliesslich der Weisheit und der Fähigkeit zur Problemlösung - im Alter verbessern.

Abnahme der chemischen Botenstoffe. Während unser Gehirn altert generiert es weniger Neurotransmitter ( biochemische Stoffe, welche die Information von einer Nervenzelle zur anderen über die Kontaktstelle der Nervenzellen, der Synapse, weitergeben ) und weniger Rezeptoren ( Zellen, die bestimmte äußere und innere chemische oder physikalische Reize in eine für das Nervensystem verständliche Form bringen ). Diese Abnahme hat einen Effekt auf unser Gedächtnis.

Quelle: AARP.org