Dr. Gary Small, M.D.

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The international bestseller that provides pioneering brain-enhancement strategies, memory exercises, a healthy brain diet, and stress reduction tps for enhancing cognitive function and halting memory loss.

Gary Small, M.D., is Chair of Psychiatry at Hackensack University Medical Center, and Physician in Chief for Behavioral Health Services at Hackensack Meridian Health, New Jersey’s largest, most comprehensive and integrated healthcare network. Dr. Small has often appeared on the TODAY show, Good Morning America, and CNN and is co-author (with his wife Gigi Vorgan) of 10 popular books, including New York Times bestseller, “The Memory Bible,” “The Small Guide to Anxiety,” and “The Small Guide to Alzheimer’s Disease.”

Tags: friendship | oxytocin | diabetes | amygdala

Friendships Boost Brain Health

Dr. Small By Friday, 13 July 2018 01:42 PM EDT Current | Bio | Archive

When we spend time with friends, our brains release oxytocin, a hormone that improves mood and protects against the negative impact of stress.

This hormone is more powerful in women, who are generally more socially involved than men.

Social interactions also reduce levels of various stress hormones, including cortisol. Research has shown that reduced cortisol levels are associated with lower risk for Alzheimer’s, heart disease, and diabetes.

In addition, people with strong social ties have longer life expectancy.

Harvard scientists studied approximately 3,000 older individuals for more than a decade.

When the researchers assessed the extent of social connections through records of time spent eating meals with others, playing team sports, and a variety of other social activities, they found that the study subjects who were more involved socially had significantly longer life expectancies.

Time with friends and family boosts a person’s confidence and self-esteem, and a stimulating conversation is a way to exercise brain cells.

For instance, the process of anticipating what someone else is about to say and how you might respond keeps neural circuits active and engaged.

In fact, these conversations stimulate neurons throughout the brain’s cortex, including the frontal lobe’s problem-solving and language circuits, the temporal lobe’s memory centers, the visual cortex in the back of the brain, and the sensorimotor strip on top.

And if the discussion gets emotional, the amygdala in the temporal region may also heat up.

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When we spend time with friends, our brains release oxytocin, a hormone that improves mood and protects against the negative impact of stress.
friendship, oxytocin, diabetes, amygdala
Friday, 13 July 2018 01:42 PM
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