Brain and nutrition
Brain & synapses
The average adult human brain weighs around 3 pounds (approximately 1.4kg) and is about the size of a medium cauliflower. It contains around 100 billion nerve cells, called neurones, which are connected by 100 trillion connections, known as synapses.
Neurones can be seen as the building blocks of the brain and synapses as the links in the network. Electrical signals, together with chemical reactions that are passed through the synapses allow the brain to carry out its many important functions.
The brain can be divided into 4 areas known as ‘lobes’. Although they have strong connections with each other, they can largely be defined by the cognitive processes that they carry out.
Synapse formation & Alzheimer's disease
The connections in the brain, called synapses, are continuously re-formed throughout life. This means that existing synapses are replaced every 3-6 months with new ones. In a healthy brain the amount of new synapses that are formed matches the amount that are lost.
In early Alzheimer’s disease however, the loss of synapses becomes accelerated. It is not yet understood why this is the case, however research suggests that synaptic loss occurs very early in the disease progression. The loss of synapses is one of the key features of early Alzheimer’s disease.
Nutrition & synapses
Synapses consist of neuronal membranes which are composed of a type of lipid known as a phospholipid. The most abundant phospholipid in the human brain (phosphatidylcholine) is formed via a metabolic process called the Kennedy pathway.
People living with early Alzheimer’s disease have been shown to have relatively low levels of a range of nutrients in their bodies despite eating a normal diet.
These nutrients are required in the process of making new connections in the brain called synapses.
Omega 3 fatty acids, uridine monophosphate and choline, together with several key vitamins, all work together to help this process.
The loss of synapses is one of the key features of early Alzheimer’s disease.
Souvenaid® is an innovative product for the dietary management of early Alzheimer’s disease and contains a unique combination of nutrients at levels difficult to achieve from diet alone. Souvenaid® is available as a once a day, 125ml drink in two flavours (strawberry and vanilla)
IMPORTANT. PLEASE READ.
You must seek advice from your doctor, specialist nurse or pharmacist if you are unsure of your condition or diagnosis or if you would like to use Souvenaid®.