Neuroscience: Plaque in the Brain

Plaque has been linked to many neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia. This might be because it prevents the brain from functioning optimally and can lead to memory loss. The beta-amyloid toxin causes brain inflammation and can prevent neurons from interacting properly. There are some known causes but there are not too many cures yet. As always, prevention is key, and emphasis needs to be placed on preventative healthcare.

Foods like processed meats, cheese, white breads, pasta, and sugar can be extremely detrimental to the brain in the long run. Secondly, beer can be just as harmful since it tends to contain nitrites. Thirdly, microwavable popcorn contains a chemical known as diacetyl and diacetyl has been directly linked to increasing plaque in the brain.

With that being said, some refreshing and positive news has come to light recently. The body’s ability to heal itself is remarkable as it has been found that the brain may also be able to get rid of plaque during quality sleep. Laura Biel from Science News further explains this process with the following paragraph: “One way the brain might clear out waste, including amyloid-beta, is via circulation of cerebrospinal and interstitial fluids. Fluid flows through the spaces in the brain, bathing neurons and eventually carrying debris out of the brain toward the liver. Studies suggest that this “glymphatic” circulation increases during sleep”.

As with almost every health condition, diet plays a huge role. Foods like leafy greens, fatty fishes, cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil, nuts, berries, beans, and dark chocolate can help the brain fight off these neurotoxins.

It is vital to be health conscious and preemptive as consuming toxins on a daily basis can lead to detrimental inflammation. Impaired neurological function can diminish any individual’s quality of life but being proactive can slow down any harmful buildup of plaque.