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Advanced Simulation Therapy NeuroBiological Benefits 


Anti-Aging Effects on the Brain

Your brain is a thinking organ that learns and grows by interacting with the world through perception and action. Mental

stimulation improves brain function and actually protects against cognitive decline, as does physical exercise. It is able to

continually adapt and rewire itself. Even in old age, it can grow new neurons. Severe mental decline is usually caused by

disease, whereas most age-related losses in memory or motor skills simply result from inactivity and a lack of mental exercise and stimulation. In other words, use it or lose it.


The brain is no different than the rest of the muscles in your body--you either use it or you lose it. You utilize the gym to stimulate the growth of muscle cells, just as you use a brain fitness program to increase connections in your brain, but you can actually get an additional brain boost by donning your sneakers and hitting the gym. The benefits of physical exercise, especially aerobic exercise, have positive effects on brain function on multiple fronts, ranging from the molecular to behavioral level. According to a study done by the Department of Exercise Science at the University of Georgia, even briefly exercising for 20 minutes facilitates information processing and memory functions. Exercise affects the brain on multiple fronts. It increases heart rate, which pumps more oxygen to the brain. It also aids the bodily release of a plethora of hormones, all of which participate in aiding and providing a nourishing environment for the growth of brain cells.

Exercise stimulates the brain plasticity by stimulating growth of new connections between cells in a wide array of important cortical areas of the brain. Recent research from UCLA demonstrated that exercise increased growth factors in the brain, making it easier for the brain to grow new neuronal connections. From a behavioral perspective, the same antidepressant-like effects associated with "runner's high" found in humans is associated with a drop in stress hormones. A study from Stockholm showed that the antidepressant effect of running was also associated with more cell growth in the hippocampus, an area of the brain responsible for learning and memory.

Autonomic Nervous System Response

The autonomic nervous system (ANS or visceral nervous system or involuntary nervous system) is the part of the peripheral nervous system that acts as a control system, functioning largely below the level of consciousness, and controls visceral functions. The ANS affects heart rate, digestion, respiratory rate, salivation, perspiration, pupillary dilation, micturition (urination), and sexual arousal. Most autonomous functions are involuntary but a number of ANS actions can work alongside some degree of conscious control. Everyday examples include breathing, swallowing, and sexual arousal, and in some cases functions such as heart rate. Within the brain, the ANS is located in the medulla oblongata in the lower brainstem. The medulla's major ANS functions include respiration (the respiratory control center, or "rcc"), cardiac regulation (the cardiac control center, or "ccc"), vasomotor activity (the vasomotor center or "vmc"), and certain reflex actions (such as coughing, sneezing, vomiting and swallowing). These then subdivide into other areas and are also linked to ANS subsystems and nervous systems external to the brain. The hypothalamus, just above the brain stem, acts as an integrator for autonomic functions, receiving ANS regulatory input from the limbic system.


The ANS is classically divided into two subsystems: the parasympathetic nervous system (PSNS) and sympathetic nervous system (SNS), which operate independently in some functions and interact co-operatively in others. In many cases, the two have "opposite" actions where one activates a physiological response and the other inhibits it. An older simplification of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems known as "excitory" and "inhibitory" was overturned due to the many exceptions found. A more modern characterization is that the sympathetic nervous system is a "quick response mobilizing system" and the parasympathetic is a "more slowly activated dampening system", but even this has exceptions, such as in sexual arousal and orgasm, wherein both play a role. The enteric nervous system is also sometimes considered part of the autonomic nervous system, and sometimes considered an independent system. ANS functions can be divided into sensory (afferent) and motor (efferent) subsystems. Within both, there are inhibitory and excitatory synapses between neurons. Relatively recently, a third subsystem of neurons that have been named 'non-adrenergic and non-cholinergic' neurons (because they use nitric oxide as a neurotransmitter) have been described and found to be integral in autonomic function, particularly in the gut and the lungs.

Cognitive Function

Cognition is the process by which the sensory input is transformed, reduced, elaborated, stored, recovered, and used. In science, cognition is a group of mental processes that includes the attention of working memory, producing and comprehending language, learning, reasoning, problem solving, and decision making. Various disciplines, such as psychology, philosophy and linguistics all study cognition. However, the term's usage varies across disciplines; for example, in psychology and cognitive science, "cognition" usually refers to an information processing view of an individual's psychological functions. It is also used in a branch of social psychology called social cognition to explain attitudes, attribution, and groups dynamic. In cognitive psychology and cognitive engineering, cognition is typically assumed to be information processing in a participant’s or operator’s mind or brain. Cognition is a faculty for the processing of information, applying knowledge, and changing preferences.

Cognition, or cognitive processes, can be natural or artificial, conscious or unconscious. These processes are analyzed from different perspectives within different contexts, notably in the fields of linguistics, anesthesia, neurology, psychiatry, psychology, philosophy, anthropology, systemics, and computer science. Within psychology or philosophy, the concept of cognition is closely related to abstract concepts such as mind and intelligence. It encompasses the mental functions, mental processes (thoughts), and states of intelligent entities (humans, collaborative groups, human organizations, highly autonomous machines, and artificial intelligences).

Neural Plasticity

Neuroplasticity, also known as brain plasticity, is an umbrella term that encompasses both synaptic plasticity and non-synaptic plasticity. it refers to changes in neural pathways and synapses which are due to changes in behavior, environment and neural processes, as well as changes resulting from bodily injury. Neuroplasticity has replaced the formerly-held position that the brain is a physiologically static organ, and explores how - and in which ways - the brain changes throughout life. Neuroplasticity occurs on a variety of levels, ranging from cellular changes due to learning, and to large-scale changes involved in cortical remapping in response to injury. The role of neuroplasticity is widely recognized in healthy development, learning, memory, and recovery from brain damage. During most of the 20th century, the consensus among neuroscientists was that brain structure is relatively immutable after a critical period during early childhood. This belief has been challenged by findings revealing that many aspects of the brain remain plastic even into adulthood.

Hubel and Wiesel had demonstrated that ocular dominance columns in the lowest neocortical visual area, V1, were largely immutable after the critical period in development. Critical periods also were studied with respect to language; the resulting data suggested that sensory pathways were fixed after the critical period. However, studies determined that environmental changes could alter behavior and cognition by modifying connections between existing neurons and via neurogenesis in the hippocampus and other parts of the brain, including the cerebellum. Decades of research have now shown that substantial changes occur in the lowest neocortical processing areas, and that these changes can profoundly alter the pattern of neuronal activation in response to experience. Neuroscientific research indicates that experience can actually change both the brain's physical structure (anatomy) and functional organization (physiology). Neuroscientists are currently engaged in a reconciliation of critical period studies demonstrating the immutability of the brain after development with the more recent research showing how the brain can, and does, change.

NeuroMuscular Function

When the brain decides to move part of the body and gives the command to the motor neurons to execute this movement, it is the muscles at the end of the chain of command that ultimately contract to move the body part concerned. To transmit this command, the axons of these motor neurons, emerging from the spinal cord, form a nerve that extends to the muscles. Where the tip of each axon comes into proximity with a muscle fiber, it forms a synapse with that fiber. This special form of synapse between a motor neuron axon and a muscle fiber is called a neuromuscular junction. The arrival of a nerve impulse at the neuromuscular junction causes thousands of tiny vesicles (pouches) filled with a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine to be released from the axon tip into the synapse.

On the opposite side of the synapse, this acetylcholine then binds to the surface of the muscle fiber at special sites where there are large numbers of acetylcholine receptors. Just like in a synapse between two neurons, when this neurotransmitter binds to a receptor, it triggers a new nerve impulse on the muscle fiber membrane. Because of the special way that muscle fibers are structured, this nerve impulse propagates rapidly throughout the fiber and makes it contract. Voluntary muscles must be stimulated by the somatic nervous system. In this respect, they differ from cardiac muscles and smooth muscles, which can contract on their own. The nerves of the autonomic nervous system that innervate these muscles serve to modulate the strength and frequency of their contractions, rather than to trigger them.


Neurodegeneration is the umbrella term for the progressive loss of structure or function of neurons, including death of neurons. Many neurodegenerative diseases including ALS, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, and Huntington's occur as a result of neurodegenerative processes. Such diseases are considered incurable, resulting in progressive degeneration and/or death of neuron cells. As research progresses, many similarities appear that relate these diseases to one another on a sub-cellular level. Discovering these similarities offers hope for therapeutic advances that could ameliorate many diseases simultaneously. There are many parallels between different neurodegenerative disorders including atypical protein assemblies as well as induced cell death. Neurodegeneration can be found in many different levels of neuronal circuitry ranging from molecular to systemic.


Neurons are nerve cells that act as the raw materials of the human brain. During fetal development, these neurons migrate to different areas and become the parts of the brain that control basic human function such as breathing, hearing and smelling. They also make up the more advanced centers of the brain that control complex thought and regulate emotions. Until recently, scientists believed that neurogenesis, the creation of neurons, ceased at birth. This theory proposed that we were born with over 100 billion neurons and those were all we had to work with for our entire lives. Numerous health and environmental factors destroy brain cells as we age and so we are left with a theoretical hourglass in which neurons are the sand falling from one end to the other. When all of the neurons have slipped away, so do we. It turns out there might be more to this story than a grisly and inevitable end. Studies since the 1960’s in adult animals have been able to show evidence of neurogenesis when subjects were exposed to enriched environments, including instances of exercise and/or play. Skeptics have argued that there is not enough evidence to support neurogenesis in adult humans, but new studies provide thorough information on the extent of adult neurogenesis and confirms the role of play and other environmental enrichments in neural development.


Although the vast majority of neurons in the mammalian brain are formed prenatally, parts of the adult brain retain the ability to grow new neurons from neural stem cells in a process known as neurogenesis. Neurotrophins are chemicals that help to stimulate and control neurogenesis, BDGF being one of the most active. Individuals who lack BDGF suffer developmental defects in the brain and sensory nervous system, and usually die soon after birth, suggesting that BDGF plays an important role in normal neural development. BDGF acts on certain neurons of the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system, helping to support the survival of existing neurons, and encourage the growth and differentiation of new neurons and synapses. In the brain, it is active in the hippocampus, cortex, and basal forebrain—areas vital to learning, memory, and higher thinking. BDGF itself is important for long-term memory. In addition to its production and functions in the brain and nervous system, BDGF secreted by contracting muscle has been found to play a role in muscle repair, regeneration, and differentiation. This is supplementary to its well-known functions in neurobiology. BDGF can therefore now be identified as a myokine that plays a role in peripheral metabolism, myogenesis, and muscle regeneration.

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