The complex cognitive frameworks within an individual subject the mind to various processes. Psychologists seek to explain human behavior based on these cognitive frameworks (Stahl & Goldstein, 2010). However, in-depth approaches to the study of mental processes gave rise to the concepts of neuroscience and neuroplasticity. The brain plays a critical role in the growth of an individual, and thus it should be safeguarded from diseases for it to function optimally. This paper will explain the concepts of neuroscience and neuroplasticity together with their importance to the brain. Besides, the paper will identify the diseases that attack the brain when the immune system is weak.
Neuroscience and Neuroplasticity
Neuroscience, which is also called neural science, is the field of study that examines the development, structural formation, and functions of the brain. Neuroscientists mainly focus on the brain processes by considering their effects on behavior development and cognitive functions (Bear, Connors, & Paradiso, 2015). Neuroplasticity is associated with the brain’s capacity to adapt and change as an individual goes through new experiences. Neuroplasticity is about the physiological changes that the brain goes through as one interacts with the changing environment. Changes in the structures of the brain start when a fetus is formed in the uterus until death (Bear et al., 2015). Therefore, neuroplasticity is a life-long process, which is attributed to the changes that an individual goes through, and it can be regarded as the recovery process from a brain injury.
The concepts of neuroscience and neuroplasticity are necessary for the understanding of the brain’s processes in various ways. Increased comprehension of the brain processes through advanced studies would facilitate the development of treatments for neurodegenerative ailments like Alzheimer’s disease. Neuroplasticity is essential to the brain since it enhances the explanation of human behavior and mental wellbeing due to environmental changes.
Diseases that Occur When the Nervous System is affected by Stress
The following neurodegenerative diseases usually occur when the nervous system is subjected to stress.
Alzheimer’s disease (AD): AD is a degenerative stress-induced disease, which is categorized as dementia. Its symptoms include memory lapses, irrational thinking, and behavior. The symptoms develop at a slow pace before worsening in the long-term hence the inability to handle tasks normally (Seaward, 2015).
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): PTSD is a mental disorder caused by traumatizing experiences. The experiences could have happened to the individual, thus creating stressful situations (Sghirlanzoni, Lauria & Chiapparini, 2015).
Parkinson’s disease (PD): PD is a progressive mental disorder that hampers an individual’s normal movement. The early signs of the condition include hand tremors that later escalate to movement stiffness (Bear et al., 2015).
Prion Disease: This disease affects both humans and animals. It is characterized by memory, personality, and behavioral changes. Other signs include dementia and ataxia as portrayed by reduced intellectual functionality and movement coordination (Bear et al., 2015).
Motor Neuron Disease (MND): This disease is associated with the dysfunctionality of the spine and serves as a form of progressive neurodegeneration overtime (Sghirlanzoni et al. 2015).
A Disease induced by Weakened Immune System Due to Stress
An individual’s immune system has a direct implication on a person’s psychological state. Immense stress can weaken the immune system, thus leading to the development of cardiovascular complications. The cardiovascular system can be affected negatively due to the flight or fight activation mechanism due to the altered immune functionality. Since the mechanism increases the heart rate, the probability of an individual getting a heart attack is high (Sghirlanzoni et al., 2015). In this regard, cardiovascular mortality can emerge due to stress that exerts pressure on the nervous system.
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Seaward, B. (2015). Managing stress: Principles and strategies for health and well-being. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Sghirlanzoni, A., Lauria, G., & Chiapparini, L. (2015). Prognosis of Neurological Diseases. New York, NY: Springer.
Stahl, B., & Goldstein, E. (2010). A mindfulness-based stress reduction workbook. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications, Inc.