ASK THE EXPERT: How to increase brain activity and boost immunity

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GREENVILLE, SC (WSPA)– We know the power of diet and exercise when it comes to boosting our immune systems and keeping us healthy, however, brain activity can also play a role.

As part of our “Ask the Expert” series in partnership with Bon Secours St. Francis Health, 7 news’ Taylor Murray spoke with a neurologist about how to increase brain activity and boost immunity.

The discovery of brain lymphatics, in 2015, changed the way the medical community looked at the brain and immunity– proving a direct mode of communication between the two.

Lymphatics are like the highways of the immune system and are found throughout the body, but once thought not to exist in the brain.

“The brain is the master is the master controller of the body.”

Dr. John Porter, a neurologist, shares that state of mind can affect ones state of health.

“The more you use your brain, the better, you are going to feel.”

Dr. John Porter, Neurologist, Bon Secours St. Francis

There are several neurological disorders that are associated with immune system dysfunction, such as multiple sclerosis, meningitis, and Alzheimer’s disease. Keeping the brain active can make a difference.

“We know that meditation will actually increase the volume in the prefrontal cortex of the brain.”

Dr. Porter says that even in a pandemic where working from home and staying home is the norm it’s important to stay physically active too.

“We know, for instance, that physical activity actually improves the volume in parts of the memory circuits.”

Physical activity, which engages the brain, has even been shown to boost immunity in people with Parkinson’s disease.

“If they ride a bicycle, they ride a stationary bicycle, it’s the equivalent of adding a drug.”

One of the most important brain activities you can do is sleep!

The brain is very active during sleep carrying out many important restorative functions.

Dr. Porter says our ability to fight disease and develop immunity is greatly dependent on good sleep.

To submit a health topic for our Ask the Expert series, click here.

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