Firing Faster

Neurons are the best-known cells in the brain, but they are far from the only ones. Another type, called glia, actually makes up a whopping 85 percent of brain cells. For a long time, scientists thought that glia simply held neurons together. (Indeed, “glia” take their name from the Greek word for glue.) But recent research reveals that glial cells also become active during learning.

One type of glial cell wraps around nerve axons. (Note: Not all axons have this wrapping.) These wrapping cells create what’s known as a myelin sheath. Myelin is made of protein and fatty substances. It insulates the axons. Myelin is a bit like the plastic coating that jackets the copper wires in your home. That insulation prevents electrical signals from inappropriately leaking out of one wire/axon and into another.

In axons, the myelin sheath has a second role: It actually speeds the electrical signals along. That’s because glial cells force a signal to jump from one spot on the axon to the next. As it hops between glial cells, the signal moves faster. It’s kind of like flying from one spot to the next, instead of taking the train. As the brain learns, the glial cells grow, change and help increase the efficiency with which axons move signals.

Research has found that when new skills are learned, the amount of myelin insulating an axon increases. This happens as the size of individual glial cells increases. New glial cells also may be added to bare axons. These changes improve the ability of a neuron to signal, and that leads to better learning.

A thicker myelin sheath helps improve all types of brainy tasks. These include reading, creating memories, playing a musical instrument and more. A thicker sheath is also linked with better decision-making because the nerves are firing faster.

Nerve cells continue to add myelin well into adulthood, as our brains continue to grow and develop. The prefrontal cortex, for example — that area where decisions are made — gains myelin well into a person’s 20s. This may explain why teens don’t always make the best decisions. They’re not finished sheathing their nerve cells. But there is hope. And getting enough sleep certainly can help. Glial cells, like neurons, seem to change most during certain stages of sleep.

Exactly what causes the glial cells to change remains a mystery. The research keeps coming to the same conclusions though: the more you exercise your brain, the better and more efficient it functions.

Learning rewires the brain

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  • It’s very interesting going in for an appointment after having some pain and the doctor notices where the pain is without saying it. Dr. Neil knows his patients and they are very flexible with appointments.

    ARNOLD R. Avatar
    ARNOLD R.
    8/22/2022
  • Sharing from my personal experience- I started a few months ago and I was having an annoying pain in my left shoulder and neck area prior starting, Dr. Neil helped me out a lot with that and I am really feeling relaxed and relieved from that annoying pain. My sleep schedule got improved. I highly recommend this place & Dr. Neil.

    Bhrigu M. Avatar
    Bhrigu M.
    8/09/2022
  • Really impressed with the quality of care my children are receiving. They are comfortable coming here & their sleep issues have improved. I also have issues with my wrist and hands & they kindly looked at my issue and gave me a quick adjustment free of charge.

    n/a w. Avatar
    n/a w.
    5/15/2022
  • The team at Ancaster Family Chiropractic are amazing. I've been seeing Dr. Neil for quite a few years now and am so glad I have. Dr. Neil's treatment plan has not only given me greater mobility I very rarely even get sick. I would highly recommend Dr. Neil if you're looking for a way to improve your health. Give Deb a call and make an appointment, you won't regret it. If you want to feel healthier this is the place to go.

    Kris C. Avatar
    Kris C.
    4/29/2022
  • Started going too the Ancaster family chiropractic about a month ago with neck and mid to lower back pain. Now I'm having less pain and stiffness through out the week.They also put together a personal plan for the problems I was going through and walk me through how they were going to solve them

    colin p. Avatar
    colin p.
    4/24/2022
  • After a few month treatment, my neck and shoulder feel much better and I can work in front of the computer much longer...Dr Neil is very knowledgeable and the staffs are very very friendly!

    Amanda P. Avatar
    Amanda P.
    4/24/2022
  • All my family (my wife, 3yr daughter and myself) have regularly treatments from Dr. Neil and his awesome team. Definitely a big improvement and highly recommend.

    HK M. Avatar
    HK M.
    4/24/2022
  • I don't think I ever actually understood what a chiropractor was supposed to do before coming here. I've only just starting coming here, but I'm already noticing a difference! Their initial assessment was so incredibly informative, and every visit since then has only helped me understand my body better.

    Felicia C. Avatar
    Felicia C.
    4/17/2022
  • I've been in Dr Neil's care for a little over a year now. I was sent to him by a referral, a family that had been going to him for years, with nothing but good things to say and much success!I had a terrible fall, which caused me unbearable coccyx pain. Needless to say, once I had a few xrays, we found many problems with my spine. Dr Neil has tackled each of my issues with care, and in priority. I can't believe the difference over the year. I am continuing my journey for better spine/back health, with full confidence and trust in Dr. Neil!

    Krista H. Avatar
    Krista H.
    4/17/2022
  • Dr. Neil has helped our family from his care. From having daily migraines to no headaches at all!

    Shane D. Avatar
    Shane D.
    4/10/2022
  • I have been going to see Dr. Neil and his wonderful staff for a couple of months now and I'm starting to see an improvement in my back and neck pain. If you are in need of chiropractic services I would highly recommend Ancaster Family Chiropractic.

    Mike M. Avatar
    Mike M.
    4/10/2022
  • I have been committed to my treatment plans for just over a year now and I am pleased to say that I have made tremendous progress. Dr. Neil, Deb and Sue are passionate about what they do and it is apparent in their patient care. I am eternally grateful to my friend that referred me. If you are looking for a chiropractor look no further.

    Malisa C. Avatar
    Malisa C.
    4/10/2022
  • I've been seeing Dr Neil for the past 3 months and my physical rehabilitation has been amazing. My range of motion is 10 times better, I walk more upright now, sporadic pains in various areas of my body have substantially decreased. The clinic staff are super friendly, knowledgeable and professional. I'm very grateful to have found this place 🙂. Keep rocking those super cool dress shirts Neil! Butterfly one is my fav 👌

    Tarus F. Avatar
    Tarus F.
    4/10/2022
  • This is my first experience with chiropractic medicine and it has been very, very positive. The now bimonthly adjustments keep me very mobile and comfortable.

    Gina R. Avatar
    Gina R.
    4/10/2022
  • I've been attending chiropractic sessions by Dr. Niel and I should say they've been great. My posture hase been improved along with my balance. Dr.Niel has a very professional attitude and spends time with patients to find the root causeof the problemsvand resolving them in order to make a longstanding change. The other team members are also very friendly and helpful and it's been a pleasure dealing with them.

    Matt E. Avatar
    Matt E.
    4/10/2022
  • Dr. Neil is caring and truly wants to help you get better. I have been completing adjustments for a few months now and have noticed considerable improvement to my posture. My back pain is starting to disappear and I know that the continued treatment will help me get back to normal. Thank you to you and your team :)

    Vanessa M. Avatar
    Vanessa M.
    4/10/2022
  • Honestly, this was the first chiropractor I've been to that insisted on xrays before treatment. And wow, I was glad I had them done, the proof was in the pudding, I myself could see my misalignment. Dr Neil is so absolutely friendly and patient, I walked in there in so much pain and I feel so much better. I referred my partner to the clinic as well, as they've gained my trust

    Haley M. Avatar
    Haley M.
    4/10/2022
  • I started the chiropractic here with severe pain in my neck and low back area at this center. Now after 4 months of doing weekly adjustments with Dr. Neil, I can observe the great improvement in my body posture and my neck movement. and best part is that I started my routine workout that last time I urged to stop due to my neck pain. I'm so thankful to get to know Dr. Neil and his great and helpful team.i will continue having my regular adjustments so that I will feel as healthy and fit as I can be for the rest of my life!thank you Ancaster Family!

    Nillie A. Avatar
    Nillie A.
    4/10/2022
  • I have been committed to my treatment plans for just over a year now and I am pleased to say that I have made tremendous progress. Dr. Neil, Deb and Sue are passionate about what they do and it is apparent in their patient care. I am eternally grateful to my friend that referred me. If you are looking for a chiropractor look no further.

    Malisa Chateram Avatar
    Malisa Chateram
    4/07/2022
  • I've been seeing Dr Neil for the past 3 months and my physical rehabilitation has been amazing. My range of motion is 10 times better, I walk more upright now, sporadic pains in various areas of my body have substantially decreased. The clinic staff are super friendly, knowledgeable and professional. I'm very grateful to have found this place 🙂. Keep rocking those super cool dress shirts Neil! Butterfly one is my fav 👌

    Tarus Fatah Avatar
    Tarus Fatah
    4/07/2022

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