Brain Day: neurosurgeon guides how to keep the organ more active and healthy

Photo: Kaio Vinícius/Acorda Cidade

Are you one of those who are forgetting everything, feel that the mind is lazy, have difficulty solving logical reasoning questions, among other difficulties in everyday life? Know that learning a new language, practicing a hobby, challenging yourself to new things and taking good care of your health, are some simple attitudes that can impact the development of your brain functions.

This Friday (22), Brain Day is celebrated, and in order to clarify certain myths, clear up doubts and bring new knowledge about this organ so important for the functioning of the human organism, Acorda Cidade interviewed neurosurgeon doctor Rui Nei Araújo, specialized in neuroscience. He talked about the importance of brain gymnastics and guided simple care to keep your brain always active and healthy.

Wake up City – What is the main function of the brain?

Rui Nei – The brain has the primary function of controlling everything in our organism, not only physical phenomena, but also emotional phenomena. Science has discovered in the last 22 years that our brain modulates everything that happens in the physical by the emotional, and if this doesn’t go well, the physical consequently won’t be well. Several diseases have scientific evidence that arise from the weakening of the emotional issue. And recently science has discovered that another factor that controls emotions is the spiritual issue, which actually refers to the meaning of life, and when someone is not with this sense well connected, they start to get sick emotionally and based on that they start to present physical diseases. .

Wake up City – Some people believe that we only use 10% of our brain. Truth or myth?

Rui Nei – Even we don’t really know how many percent we use, but we suspect it’s too little. The number 10, 15 or 5% will depend on the reference. The basic brain functions are relatively well known, but it is not yet known in detail how the circuits of thought, consciousness, subconsciousness and emotions work. Emotions, for example, are beginning to be studied, such as anger, which only lasts 90 seconds, according to scientists. And if your anger is lasting longer than 90 seconds, I say you are fueling your anger. So it’s worth counting to 90 and not to 10, because it doesn’t work. The 90 seconds is the time it takes the brain to be reactivated to make conscious decisions. Everything you do within that period, you will only regret it.

Acorda Cidade – How does the biochemical part of the brain work?

Rui Nei – The brain is totally based on the dependence of glucose and water, and when you offer this, it starts to work with several ion pumps, which through an electrical network begins to perform functions in a very exquisite way, because it has mechanisms for cause this current to be quickly dispersed.

Acorda Cidade – What is brain gymnastics?

Rui Nei – In a simple way, if you do an exercise in a gym to work out a leg, over time your muscles grow. But if you stop exercising for about two, your muscles will go back to what they were. Everything we use develops. And if you use the brain for functions that are new to you or when you challenge yourself to learn new things, it forms new connections, new cells arise, and new neurons are born in the hippocampus. So the stimulus to learn something new makes our memory better. Areas of the brain are activated, while other areas that are less used become deactivated. Everything you want to improve, actually improves.

Acorda Cidade – What exercises do we have to practice to exercise these brain functions?

Rui Nei – Depends on the role, but generally learning. The brain will use everything you learn to improve your intelligence, the new connections you make when you learn, for example, a new language. The other exercise is to sleep well to form the vocation memory, which you make of recent things. When you sleep poorly, this memory is not formed properly and you start to become a forgetful person. Alzheimer’s disease is much more susceptible in people who have spent a certain stage of life not learning new things and focusing on just doing the same things they were already doing. The brain is extremely plastic, potentially unlimited and we can learn in a capacity that we are not aware of.

Wake up City – What are the signs that someone is not exercising their brain properly?

Rui Nei – The first sign is forgetting everything, not being able to remember the things you did yesterday, what you ate today, and according to a Harvard study, the main cause of recent memory loss is stress, worry. We live in a world where everything is very fast, we are used to applications like Instagram, Whatsapp, and this all generates a sense of urgency, which the brain does not tolerate well. When the brain is in a state of hypervigilance, which is the feeling of stress, it only records what refers to survival. So the first signs are tiredness, mental exhaustion, not being able to remember things, but all this is easy to reverse. It is necessary to drink plenty of fluids, because the brain needs water, and you cannot go long without eating something, because it needs energy. These are simple things to do: drink water, eat well, exercise and stimulate your brain to learn new things.

Acorda Cidade – With the arrival of covid-19, many people complain of sequelae such as memory loss. How to reverse this situation in patients?

Rui Nei – Some patients are left with temporary memory sequelae and rarely permanent sequelae. What we use in practice to improve the lives of these patients is not medication, but a change in lifestyle. As a routine, we advise you to drink more water, maintain a healthy diet, sleep well, practice physical activity. Practicing something that generates pleasure and well-being, because the brain loves it and generates happiness in the human organism. And maintain good relationships with people, especially at work, where you spend most of your time. Automatically, the brain develops much better in phases of happiness than of sadness.

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