For this Month’s Optimization Spotlight, we are going to focus on improving brain function with hormone optimization and peptide therapy.
How does brain function change as we age?
As we get older, certain parts of the brain atrophy (shrink), especially those essential to memory and complex mental activity, the frontal lobe and hippocampus. In other parts of the brain, communication between brain cells decreases in speed. In addition, blood circulation in the brain decreases and neuroinflammation can increase.
How do hormones affect brain function?
As we know, hormone production will decrease as we age, and brain fog is a cardinal sign of suboptimal hormone levels. We also must be aware that excessive hormone levels can influence brain function. Let’s take a look at which hormones influence cognition.
- Estrogen plays a role in learning, memory, and mood in addition to neurodevelopment. Low estrogen is associated with difficulty concentration and mood swings. Excess estrogen can lead to headaches, memory loss, and insomnia.
- Low Testosterone is associated with mood swings, depression, brain fog, and loss of mental acuity.
- Progesterone is significant in the regulation of cognition, formation/regeneration of nerves. Low progesterone can lead to memory loss, mood swings, and irritability, but excess progesterone can cause mood swings and dizziness.
- Thyroid: low thyroid, hypothyroidism, can cause fatigue, anxiety/depression, difficulty concentrating, and brain fog. Excess thyroid, hyperthyroidism, can also lead to anxiety and difficulty sleeping.
- Excess Cortisol (and stress) can lead to brain fog, headaches, and difficulty controlling emotion
How can peptides help with brain function?
Using peptide therapy to improve cognition has gained popularity over the last few years and rightly so. My approach is to use peptides to improve brain function by three primary mechanisms: Increase BDNF, stimulate brain cell regeneration and repair, and lower neuroinflammation.
BDNF (Brain Derived Neutrophic Factor) is a naturally occurring protein on our brain that can improve brain function and lower the risk of cognitive disease. Research suggests BDNF can protect and repair brain cells, increase production of new brain cells, and improve learning, memory, and mood. In fact, depression has been linked to low levels of BDNF.
Peptides that increase BDNF include Semax, Selank, Cerebrolysin, and Growth Hormone Secreting Peptides (CJC-1295/Ipamorelin, Tesamorelin), and Oxytocin
Peptides that stimulate brain cell repair and regeneration should be able to cross the blood-brain barrier and reach neurons directly
Peptides in this category include Synapsin, Cerebrolysin, DiHexa, and BPC-157
Inflammation in the brain can cause brain fog, depression, anxiety, irritability, memory loss, and excess fatigue
Peptides that can lower neuroinflammation include BPC-157, Semaglutide, Synapsin, and Cerebrolysin
In summary, peptides and hormone optimization can improve brain function along with a healthy diet, exercise, supplement therapy, and avoiding environmental toxins.
FOR MORE INFO ON PEPTIDES AND BRAIN FUNCTION, SCHEDULE YOUR NEXT APPOINTMENT!