Unlocking Human Potential: The Rise of the Glial Cell

January 1, 2012 | Byron J. Richards, Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist

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 Unlocking Human Potential: The Rise of the Glial Cell
As 2011 comes to a close, scientists are now reaching broad consensus on the power of the glial cell to regulate brain function, supervising how your brain regulates information and learns. This new understanding represents a seismic shift in our understanding of neuroscience, opening the door for strategies to rejuvenate your brain and keep your cognitive abilities and mood in good working condition at any age – and especially as you grow older.

Glial cells are named after the Greek word for glue. For the longest time scientists simply thought that glial cells glued together neurons so that they could carry on nerve transmission. Based on this notion the entire field of neuro-pharmacology evolved. Drugs were designed to target neurons and their neurotransmitters in the hopes of improving mood and mental health. The glial cell was all but forgotten.

As imaging technology improved over the past decade it became apparent that glial cells were highly active in brain function. In the new study a mathematical model of glial cell regulation of neurons has been developed. This model explains how glial cells regulate nerve networks. You can think of glial cells as the social media of the brain, maintaining the plasticity of the brain that keeps networks flexible and functioning so that you can learn, have a quick brain, and maintain or develop ability and skill. Glial cells have gone from the basement to the penthouse.

Numerous studies show that your social network of glial cells don’t like too much inflammation, too much stress, too much toxicity, etc. What they do like is learning new things; so figure out what new mental and physical skills you plan to acquire in 2012 and your glial cells will have hope for a good new year.

What has also become obvious is that glial cells love nutrition. Thankfully, many nutrients nourish and protect your glial cells.

I have been promoting the importance of glial cells for a number of years. The broad scientific community is now on board, as researchers see immediate applications not only for human health but also for better computer chips and the next generation of Artificial Intelligence. One thing is for sure, we are entering a new understanding of brain health that immediately opens the door for self improvement for any person wishing to take advantage of this remarkable information.

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