The brain has been a medical enigma even after hundreds of years of research. The man has been able to know the secrets of the gene the building block of data but brain transmits the signals which make us function like we do, has not been unraveled yet. Here comes in the ancient metal copper which helps us understand how the brain works. In fact, copper is essential for proper function of the brain.
Research shows copper helps us think
A recent research at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis copper has a vital role in neurons health, life/death, learning and also memory. The findings were that copper and its transporter protein called ATP7A is essential for the thinking mechanism which makes us intelligent. The difference in thinking of each individual is due to the variations in the coding of the carrier protein.
Rat brain cells used in the experiments showed that ATP7A the carrier protein moves copper to synapses of the neurons. Synapses are the junction points of the neurons that help them to communicate with each other. Thus the ancient metal copper is responsible for making the signals in brain weaker or stronger. This changing strength of the neural connection is called synaptic plasticity and is a vital cog in the wheel of learning and memory. The research also threw light on the fact that our brain is more powerful than the way we use it. Copper ions are responsible for making the connections and people with the right balance can think and react better than people with copper deficiency.
The mechanism of thinking
The study also showcased the fact how the human brain thinks. Let us know the process. The synapses have the antenna like the system to catch the signals from neurotransmitters in the brain. This chemical signal triggers the carrier protein ATP7A which brings the copper ions from storage to cell surface. When the ions are released in the neural synapses, it damps the activity of the NDMA receptors. The strength of signal determines cell survival, life, and learning/memory.
All the neurons have varying level of connections due to the different concentration of copper ions in the synapse surface. Copper regulates the functioning and makes the neurons react and work at the perfect level of activity. Too much activity can lead to early death of neurons and too little can dull our reacting mechanism. Menkes a disease that affects children when they are born has abnormal ATP7A condition. These children suffer from early brain degeneration and survive less than 10 years. This also shows how vital copper is for brain signals and brain health.
So, drinking water in a copper vessel to get the right amount of copper ions in our body is very essential for healthy survival. Our ancestors knew this fact in spite of not having the advancement in science and research. Or did they? Well, we know very little of the use of copper by them and it seems to all come to a full circle.