Friday December 15, 2017

Revealed: Why time slows down as we age

0
65

slowing-time-clock

By NewsGram Staff Writer

Passage of time is a strange phenomenon. Sometimes, it flies-by and other times it drags interminably. For some, time can race and yet for others it can be a stagnant pond. However it might tick off, it is undeniable that time puzzles all.

There is a huge gulf of difference between time (real) as measured by clocks and our own sense of quantification. Eventually, we are the makers of our sense of time.

Deducing Time

By using predictable recurring events occurring naturally, such as day and night and repetition of seasons, humans have created reliable instruments to measure time. To mark their passage, we use clocks and calendars.

Apart from external formulations, we also seem to possess an internal timepiece, one that regulates our circadian (day/night) rhythms and allows us to register the duration of particular events.

The representations stored in our memory use the pacemaker to compare the length of each new event, thereby building up a knowledge bank of what each second, minute or an hour feels like. The development is central to our brain’s ability of registering short durations and transforming them into an understanding of the flow of time across the lifespan.

Still, however, our internal pacemaker does not always keep time as accurately as our external instruments.

Our personal perceptions of time are determined by the physical state, mood and the extent of our focus. For example. when we are concentrating, time appears to pass by slowly, Ditto when we are bored. On the other hand, when our attention is divided (particularly during multi-tasking), time flows by swiftly.

Another factor which influences the perception of time is the emotional quality of an event. Negative emotions such as sadness, depression have the ability to slow down time, as is the case with fear. Joy, fun and frolic have the counter-effect of speeding-up time.

Similarly, age has a lot to do with how we perceive time. Aged people, specifically those above the age of 60 often experience variability of time. Even as days stretch longer, festivities such as Christmas appear nearer and faster.

Causes behind differing time perception

As we age, a number of cognitive processes such as dividing attention between different tasks and concentrating on a particular job change, thereby giving rise to anomalies in time perception.

Also, the frame of reference for the duration of events changes with time. In this respect, there is a thought that the perception of time is in proportion to the length of our lifespan, a theory known as the “proportional theory”.

The theory posits that as we age time begins to feel relatively short as compared to our lifespan. For instance, a 70-year-old man may feel time passing quickly in relation to a teenager who is  15-years-old.

Yet, the theory does not fully explain how we visualize movement of time from second-to-second and day-to-day.

According to scientists, the clarity of our memories is believed to mould our experience of time. The past and other historic events are used for achieving a sense of self-existence across time.

“Reminiscence bump”, the decade between ages 15 and 25 associated with an increase in self-defining memories is the period when most of our vivid experiences occur. As older people move further away from this critical period in their lives, the memory cluster also speeds-up with age.

Clinical disorders such as autism and attention-deficit-hyperactivity are also frequently associated with problems in estimating time intervals. Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s also lead to difficulty in time travel to the past.

The answer to solving the problem of differing time perception perhaps lies in strengthening cognitive abilities particularly memory and attention. Meditation and mindfulness can help us in being in the here and now, slowing down the fast moving pace of time.

Next Story

This drink may help ward off Alzheimer’s: Scientist

0
36
Alzheimer's disease. Wikipedia

New York, October 31’2017: Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have developed a nutrient mix that has shown potential to slow down cognitive impairment in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease.

The drink, called Souvenaid is aimed at treating “the root cause” of Alzheimer’s, which is the loss of brain synapses.

 Souvenaid contains omega-3 fatty acids found in oily fish like salmon and mackeral along with high doses of Vitamin B13, B, C and E.

The mixture increases production of new synapses and restores connectivity between brain regions, improving memory and other cognitive functions, the researchers reported, in the MIT Technology Review.

In the new clinical trial, published in the journal Lancet Neurology, the team conducted a 24-month trial, where more than 300 patients with prodromal Alzheimer’s — the predementia stage of Alzheimer’s with mild symptoms — were randomly assigned Souvenaid or a placebo.

The patients taking Souvenaid showed about 45 per cent less cognitive decline than people taking the placebo.

Patients who drank Souvenaid showed less worsening in everyday cognitive and functional performance and improvement in verbal-memory performance.

“It feels like science-fiction, where you can take a drink of Souvenaid and you get more synapses…for improved cognitive function. But it works,” said Richard Wurtman, Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston.

Importantly, Souvenaid led to a 26 per cent reduction in the loss of hippocampal volume, which is caused early in Alzheimer’s by brain tissue loss.

The results indicate that Souvenaid may be able to slow or stop full progression of very early Alzheimer’s into a full-blown disease, Wurtman noted.

The findings could encourage more researchers to view synapse restoration as a treatment for Alzheimer’s.

“Everyone who writes about Alzheimer’s knows there’s a synapse deficiency, and this impairs connections between brain regions. Even if the amyloid or another problem gets solved, one way or another, you’ll have to replace these synapses,” Wurtman said.(IANS)

Next Story

Multi-gene Test Found Effective in Predicting Alzheimer’s Dementia

0
34
Alzheimer
Alzheimer Disease. IANS

San Francisco, Sep 24, 2017:  In a new test, a research team has found that combining the effects of over two dozen genetic variants help in predicting which cognitively normal older adults will go on to develop Alzheimer’s dementia.

The advantage of the test, known as Polygenic Hazard Score (PHS), is relative to testing only for the well-known genetic variant APOE E4, which has been considered the strongest genetic predictor of whether someone is likely to develop Alzheimer’s — a chronic neurodegenerative disease that usually starts slowly and worsens over time.

However, APOE E4 is only carried by 10 to 15 per cent of the population and recent research suggests that its effects have been overstated, Xinhua news agency reported on Sunday.

Publishing their findings this week in Annals of Neurology, the team, led by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), and the University of California, San Diego, believes that the PHS test could provide risk estimates for the remaining 85 to 90 per cent of people who do not carry at least one copy of APOE E4.

Also Read: Yoga and these 5 Foods Prevent from Alzheimer’s & Will Boost your Memory 

“Beyond APOE E4 by itself, our polygenic hazard score can identify cognitively normal and mildly impaired older folks who are at greatest risk for developing Alzheimer’s associated clinical decline over time,” Chin Hong Tan from UCSF and the paper’s first author was quoted as saying.

Researchers found that PHS test could predict how long it would take for them to progress to Alzheimer’s dementia and how steep their cognitive decline would be.

The test enables the researchers to calculate an age-specific risk of developing Alzheimer’s based upon each person’s share of 31 genetic variants plus APOE E4. (IANS)

Next Story

Why Worry? These Techniques will Teach How to be Happy!

Learn how to stop worrying with these simple strategies

0
24
How to stop worrying
Cluster of anxious thoughts. Pixabay

New Delhi, August 14, 2017: Worry is a story that we create inside and we use it to create fear. You tend to create fear of something which has to happen in the near future and by worrying, you deplete your strength and energy so much that by the time the situation arises, you would have made yourself already a weak person. What’s expected in such situations is to keep yourself strong so that you can face the situation and respond to the situation with an open mind.

Our every thought, every word and every action are our own creation. Circumstances come to us externally, but our responses are completely our choice. One must admit that there are some things in life which cannot be changed and problems will continue to persist, however, one must learn how to stop worrying.

How to Stop Worrying?

Worry is a delusion

You worry about things that ought to occur in the future. Worries are primarily the monsters you build in your head and are just in your head. It is a sheer misuse of your imagination. A single liberated thought devoid of tensions can make your day.

Incorporate mindfulness

The most efficient technique to stop worrying is to inculcate mindfulness, which involves nonjudgmental awareness of present thoughts and emotions. Make yourself consciously aware of the fact that worries are going to persist for an indefinite period of time but that should not take away your sanity. Also, have a deeper understanding of the fact that worries can never change the outcomes/end result, so deal with the situation rather wasting time and energy on ruminating.

Acceptance

Accepting worries help the person to move on and pass out the situation with ease. Those who are naturally more welcoming of their intrusive feelings are less obsessional, have lower levels of distress, and are less worried.

Gulping Sweets

Sweets are believed to enlighten the mood of the person. Devour your favorite sweets and forget about worries. Whenever a nerve racking thought occurs,  Go ahead and grab a chocolate bar.

Also Read: Planning to Set a Goal? Here’s What You Need to Know! 

Forest Therapy indulgence

Forest therapy promotes relaxation and reduces the activity of sympathetic nerves associated with “fight or flight” reactions to stress.

Pen down your worries

Penning down your own thought might be counterintuitive, but it’s almost similar to emptying the fears out of your mind. You tend to reevaluate that situation so that you’re less likely to worry about those situations.

Cooking is therapeutic

Cooking helps in combating stress and ease the stress levels. When you prepare a recipe, you only focus on one thing and by doing that you spend less time on worrying about issues that concern you.

[sociallocker][/sociallocker]

Soul awakening through meditation

Anxiety disorders are due to the repetitive, anxious, often baseless thoughts and worries about the future. However, practicing meditation awakens the soul and brings the mind to zero thoughts, which is imperative for the mind wanderers.

Keep the hands busy

Keeping your hands busy can help keep your mind off of worries.  Keeping your hands and mind working conflicts with storing and encoding visual images, which explains why worry beads and knitting calm us down.

Rational thinking

People tend to worry about things they have no control over. It doesn’t change the situation anyways. It is better to stay practical in such situations and so that you are able to respond to the situation open mindedly.


NewsGram is a Chicago-based non-profit media organization. We depend upon support from our readers to maintain our objective reporting. Show your support by Donating to NewsGram. Donations to NewsGram are tax-exempt.