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what is neuroplasticity how to keep your brain healthy  can the brain repair itself how to keep your brain sharp

How to keep your brain healthy: Understanding neuroplasticity

Published Oct 6, 2023 | Updated Feb 8, 2024

Wondering how to keep your brain sharp? If you're looking for answers on how to keep your brain healthy as you age, you may want to pay attention to an important part of the brain known as connective tissue. The human brain is a complex organ that requires a constant supply of nutrients to function optimally. One of the most important components of the brain is its connectivity system which allows communication to run smoothly while also supporting the development and growth of brain cells. Let’s explore the benefits of having more connective tissue and why it’s important for overall brain health.

Taking care of your health with connectivity

Imagine your body as a computer. To operate properly it needs a computer system, found in the brain, which fires up information, and sends signals across to different parts, so your brain and body can function properly. In the same way, the brain connective tissue system is responsible for coordinating brain function and getting that communication between the brain and body going, all while monitoring and modifying the information we get and give[1,2]. It can also help the brain grow and develop[3]. Here are 3 more ways connective tissue transforms your brain.

  • Get your brain to function properly

Connective tissue is essential for supporting the function of the brain. It provides a framework for the brain cells to communicate with each other and helps regulate the flow of nutrients in and out of the brain cells[1]. A narrative review that comprised studies published from 1980 to 2021 has shown that disturbance in the connective tissue system can also add to symptoms of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease[4]. 

  • Rewire your brain

Can the brain repair itself? The answer is yes. Connective tissue is essential for the brain development process known as neuroplasticity[5]. What is neuroplasticity? It’s the brain's ability to adapt by growing and developing new neurons and connections between them. The connective tissue in the brain plays a critical role in the formation of communication networks between brain cells, which are essential for learning and memory[3,6]. You can therefore increase neuroplasticity by maintaining brain connective tissue. Furthermore, neuroplasticity is believed to be a promising therapeutic approach to improve symptoms in Alzheimer's Disease, therefore, maintaining neuroplasticity and the brain connective tissue can help support optimal brain development throughout the ages[7].

  • Take care of your mental health

The connective tissue system can also affect mental health. Multiple studies and literature reviews imply that mental health conditions arise from miscoordinated interactions between nervous systems in the brain rather than a particular flawed brain region[8,9,10,11,12]. Imagine a factory that makes shoes. If different departments miss out on the chance to connect and communicate with each other, you could be going around with a nice pair of white sneakers, struggling to walk because the shoe soles are two sizes smaller than the actual shoe outline. Just like communication between the shoe factory departments helps keep our feet comfortable, maintaining brain connective tissue helps to promote mental health.

DHA: The ultimate connective tissue booster

Wondering how you can obtain more connective tissue? Say hello to DHA. One of the most important nutrients for brain health is DHA, an essential part of omega 3 fats that is found in high concentrations in the brain[13]. What exactly happens when you take DHA? Brain function optimizes and boosts the growth and development of new brain cells. According to the European Food Safety Authority's recognition of DHA's cognitive advantages, DHA is essential for the brain[14]. They state that “DHA contributes to the maintenance of normal brain function”[15]. Results from a 2020 animal study also showed that DHA promotes better brain communication by building better brain communication networks[9]. In another study on healthy young adults whose diets were low in DHA, supplementation with omega 3 also improved their memory[15]. To get the omega 3 brain benefits that boost your brain connective tissue it's essential to take 500mg of DHA daily[16]. brain feed developed a plant-based omega 3 supplement that is double concentrated. It contains 500 mg of DHA per capsule. Maintain your optimal brain health and save 15% off your 1st order with code ‘NEW15’. 

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By ensuring you get enough nutrients that boost the production of connective tissue, you can improve cognitive function, reduce the risk of cognitive decline and neurodegenerative diseases, and promote your mental health. You can improve your overall quality of life by taking care of your brain and supporting its connective tissue system.



[1] Moskowitz, M., & Golden, M. (2015). The Brain’s Connective Tissue System. Neuroplastix: Change the Brain; Relieve the Pain; Transform the Person.

[2] Kamrani, P., Marston, G., Arbor, T.C., & Arif, J.(2023). Anatomy, Connective Tissue. In: StatPearls [Internet]. StatPearls Publishing.

[3] Brain Basics: Genes At Work In The Brain (n.d.). National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

[4] Sharp, H. E. C., Critchley, H. D., & Eccles, J. A. (2021). Connecting brain and body: Transdiagnostic relevance of connective tissue variants to neuropsychiatric symptom expression. World Journal of Psychiatry, 11(10), 805-820. 

[5] Toricelli, M., Pereira, A. A. R., Souza Abrao, G., Malerba, H. N., Maia, J., Buck, H. S., & Viel, T. A. (2021). Mechanisms of neuroplasticity and brain degeneration: strategies for protection during the aging process. Neural Regeneration Research, 16(1), 58-67.

[6]  Carbone, B. E., Abouleish, M., Watters, K. E., Vogel, S., Ribic, A., Schroeder, O. H.-U., Bader, B. M., & Biederer, T. (2020). Synaptic Connectivity and Cortical Maturation Are Promoted by the ω-3 Fatty Acid Docosahexaenoic Acid. Cerebral Cortex, 30(1), 226–240. 

[7] Koch, G., & Spampinato, D. (2022). Alzheimer disease and neuroplasticity. In A. Quartarone, M. F. Ghilardi, & F. Boller (Eds.), Neuroplasticity: From Bench to Bedside (pp. 473–479). Elsevier eBooks.

[8] Fornito, A., Yücel, M., Patti, J., Wood, S. J., & Pantelis, C. (2009). Mapping grey matter reductions in schizophrenia: An anatomical likelihood estimation analysis of voxel-based morphometry studies. Schizophrenia Research, 108(1–3), 104–113. 

[9] Fornito, A., Zalesky, A., Pantelis, C., & Bullmore, E. T. (2012). Schizophrenia, neuroimaging and connectomics. NeuroImage, 62(4), 2296–2314. 

[10] Bora, E., Fornito, A., Pantelis, C., & Yücel, M. (2012). Gray matter abnormalities in Major Depressive Disorder: A meta-analysis of voxel based morphometry studies. Journal of Affective Disorders, 138(1–2), 9–18. 

[11] Bora, E., Fornito, A., Yücel, M., & Pantelis, C. (2010). Voxelwise Meta-Analysis of Gray Matter Abnormalities in Bipolar Disorder. Biological Psychiatry, 67(11), 1097–1105. 

[12] Fornito, A., & Harrison, B. J. (2012). Brain Connectivity and Mental Illness. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 3.

[13] Raikes, A. C., Hernandez, G. D., Mullins, V. A., Wang, Y., Lopez, C., Killgore, W. D. S., Chilton, F. H., & Brinton, R. D. (2022). Effects of docosahexaenoic acid and eicosapentaoic acid supplementation on white matter integrity after repetitive sub-concussive head impacts during American football: Exploratory neuroimaging findings from a pilot RCT. Frontiers in Neurology, 13, 891531.

[14] Agostoni, C., Bresson, J. L., Fairweather Tait, S., Flynn, A., Golly, I., Korhonen, H., ... & Moseley, B. (2012). Scientific opinion on the tolerable upper intake level of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and docosapentaenoic acid (DPA): EFSA panel on dietetic products, nutrition, and allergies (NDA).

[15] Stonehouse, W., Conlon, C. A., Podd, J., Hill, S. R., Minihane, A. M., Haskell, C., & Kennedy, D. (2013). DHA supplementation improved both memory and reaction time in healthy young adults: a randomized controlled trial. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 97(5), 1134–1143. 

[16] Rafati, P., Hameed, M., Huang, X., & Isyaku, K. L. (2020). Review: The effect of DHA supplementation on the human health [Final Report]. University of Salford Manchester.

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