How to cool down our New Year brains


Powered by article titled “How to cool down our New Year brains” was written by Daniel Glaser, for The Observer on Sunday 7th January 2018 15.00 Asia/Kolkata

Feeling a little bruised after the excesses of New Year and the festive period? In these cold, dark days we may find a treatment for more serious neurotrauma instructive. Since the 1940s, many studies have shown the benefits of therapeutic hypothermia, or cooling the brain.

In terms of energy supply, the brain exists in a precarious balance even in normal function. Fuel reserves are limited as brain cells are tightly packed to keep wiring lengths to a minimum. Cooling the brain allows the overstretched metabolism to concentrate on repair.

And damaged cortical tissue triggers a chain reaction which can make matters worse, a process also inhibited by cooling.

Of course the cooling can mask signs of injury, and accidental immersion in freezing water can cause a state close to suspended animation from which it is not always possible to recover. In ghoulish trauma medicine terminology, you’re not dead till you’re warm and dead. Cheery thoughts as we return to our everyday routines.

Days are already getting longer, albeit slowly, and soon it’ll be time to emerge from our mental burrows.

Dr Daniel Glaser is director of Science Gallery at King’s College London © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010

Published via the Guardian News Feed plugin for WordPress.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
How to cool down our New Year brains | NORTH INDIA KALEIDOSCOPE

Rajesh Ahuja

I am a veteran journalist based in Chandigarh India.I joined the profession in June 1982 and worked as a Staff Reporter with the National Herald at Delhi till June 1986. I joined The Hindu at Delhi in 1986 as a Staff Reporter and was promoted as Special Correspondent in 1993 and transferred to Chandigarh. I left The Hindu in September 2012 and launched my own newspaper ventures including this news portal and a weekly newspaper NORTH INDIA KALEIDOSCOPE (currently temporarily suspended).