Prof. Michela Matteoli presents her latest book: “The brain’s talent – 10 easy lessons in neuroscience”
The brain’s talent encloses ten lessons from one of the most appreciated Italian researchers in the world: Michela Matteoli Director of the CNR Institute of Neuroscience and Full Professor of Pharmacology at Humanitas University.
Based on studies she has conducted herself, the author describes our brain’s extraordinary properties but also its number one enemy: neuroinflammation. Page after page, the author unveils strategies that all of us can adopt to enhance and preserve our cognitive functions over time.
The brain is the organ that ages the least. Less than the gut, the liver, the skin or the heart. Taking care of our brain is the only opportunity we have to extend our youth and to savour life for a long time while taking care of our health. As Michela Matteoli tells us in this book, the brain has a strength: its plasticity, i.e. the ability to modify itself, adapt to the world and repair itself. This is why it can evolve throughout its entire existence, literally expanding, and building new connections between neurons. This is its unique talent.
In ten easy neuroscience lessons, the author guides readers to discover the great potential of our mind, but also our nervous system’s main enemy: chronic inflammation, which causes premature ageing and triggers diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and depression. Scientists are focused on finding methods to counteract neuroinflammation. To prevent or slow down damage, it is possible to adopt prevention protocols, such as that of the CNR Institute of Neuroscience, directed by Matteoli: the two main strands of Train the Brain studies have achieved very interesting improvements in people with mild cognitive decline, without using drugs and only through exercise, brain training or simply by being with others.
The brain’s talent aims to be a pathway to understanding some of our brain’s most extraordinary functions and to explaining how to adopt strategies such as nutrition or relaxation that preserve our cognitive abilities. The earlier you start, the better.
‘Our brains do not fly alone,’ writes the scientist. ‘The external environment, the inflammatory molecules in our blood or the bacteria in our gut shape and modify it, and our brain responds. It responds quietly or loudly. But it always responds’.