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Nutrition & Alzheimer’s

The connections in the brain, called synapses, are continuously re-formed throughout life. This means that existing synapses are replaced every 3-6 months with new ones. In a healthy brain the amount of new synapses that are formed matches the amounts that are lost.

In early Alzheimer’s disease however, the loss of synapses becomes accelerated. It is not yet understood why this is the case, however research suggests that synaptic loss occurs very early in the disease progression. The loss of synapses is one of the key features of early Alzheimer’s disease.

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Synapses consist of neuronal membranes which are composed of a type of fat known as a phospholipid. The most abundant phospholipid in the human brain is formed via a specific process called the Kennedy pathway.

People living with early Alzheimer’s disease have been shown to have relatively low levels of a range of nutrients in their bodies despite eating a normal diet.

A combination of these nutrients are required in the process of making new synapses in the brain. Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, uridine and choline, together with several key vitamins and minerals, all work together to help this process.

Brain & Synapses

The average adult human brain weighs around 3 pounds (approximately 1.4kg) and is about the size of a medium cauliflower. It contains around 100 billion nerve cells, called neurones, which are connected by 100 trillion connections, known as synapses.

Neurones can be seen as the building blocks of the brain and synapses as the links in the network. Electrical signals, together with chemical reactions that are passed through the synapses allow the brain to carry out its many important functions.

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The brain can be divided into four areas known as ‘lobes’. Although they have strong connections with each other, they can largely be defined by the cognitive processes that they carry out.

The average adult human brain weighs around 3 pounds (approximately 1.4kg) and is about the size of a medium cauliflower. It contains around 100 billion nerve cells, called neurones, which are connected by 100 trillion connections, known as synapses.

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