Obesity is a known cause of brain shrinkage. Obesity and diabetes affect your brain similarly. However, the extra fat deposits in obese people create massive amounts of inflammatory cytokines (signaling molecules). These cytokines are believed to promote brain cell death and loss of brain volume.
Additional studies have shown smaller brains in those people who have short sleep cycles when compared to those people sleeping longer on average. The quality of sleep is a major factor in brain health. There are many factors leading to poor quality of sleep:
● Too much caffeine prior to bed
● Too much alcohol prior to bed
● Eating just before going to sleep
● Lights (especially television and computer screens) left on while you sleep
We have known that smoking has been known to shrink our brains since 1987. Smoking has one of the most pervasive influences on your brain since it affects nearly every single area of your brain.
Alcohol (chronic consumption) and brain atrophy are dependent on the quantity and frequency of alcohol consumed regularly. Light to moderate drinkers have larger brains that non-drinkers. Heavy drinkers have smaller frontal lobes and enlarged ventricles (indicating shrinkage from within). A heavy drinker is one who consumes more than 15 ounces of pure alcohol weekly.
Many of us have heard the term, ‘use it or lose it’. It applies to our brain also. If we live our lives as couch potatoes, we have a higher risk of losing brain function over time. Each mental thought you have affects some aspect of your body. Every thought either feeds or fights disease in your body. That is why it is necessary to remove as much negativity from your life as possible. Stimulate your brain in varied ways to maintain your network of neurons optimally.