Brain-derived neurotrophic factor, also known as BDNF, is a protein that, in humans, is encoded by the BDNF Gene. BDNF is a member of the neurotrophin family of growth factors, which are related to the canonical nerve growth factor.
BDNF 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. BDNF is also expressed in the retina, kidney, saliva, prostate, motor neurons and skeletal muscle.
BDNF itself is important for long-term memory. 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 proteins that help to stimulate and control neurogenesis, BDNF being one of the most active
Sensory inputs from environmental stimuli are initially processed by the cortex before being transmitted to the hippocampus along an afferent pathway, suggesting the activity-mediated effects of enrichment can be far-reaching within the brain.
Ways to increase BDNF include exercise, meditation, deep sleep, and sunlight.
Things that block BDNF include stress, sugar, and social isolation.
High-intensity interval training evokes larger serum BDNF levels compared with intense continuous exercise.
Wear blue light blocking glasses – Shut down electronic devices two hours before bed
Nutrition to support BDNF: High-quality fats like grass-fed butter and wild-caught fish nourish your brain, Vitamin D, Krill Oil: Oily fish like sardines, krill, and salmon, Magnesium: almonds and raisins
meditation:taoist (breath through nose, left palm over right thumbs touching, tongue to roof of mouth)