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A final disease of the brain that involves metabolism and that we will discuss here is stroke , the result of poor blood flow into the brain. Strokes can happen in young people, and are then often because of problems in the vessels that lead to the brain. However, the most at-risk population are older people, in particular those who have diseases, such as diabetes and changes in cholesterol and other lipids in their blood, because these conditions lead to damage to blood vessels. Damaged blood vessels can have blockages that result in a lack of blood reaching the brain, which causes the stroke . Everyone should feel safe and supported to talk about employee wellbeing with their line manager.

Neurons, the type of cell in the brain responsible for thought processes, are particularly susceptible to a lack of blood flow. This happens because of their metabolic characteristics. Neurons have fewer metabolic pathways than most cells, and therefore are not able to make energy in the form of ATP from fats or amino acids . Talking about mental health in the workplace is a good step forward.

Instead, they rely almost exclusively on glucose and glucose-derived lactate, which is produced by neighboring cells in the brain, to supply their significant energy needs (thinking is energy-consuming, as we saw before). In addition to their strict “dietary” needs, neurons have very little glycogen as a glucose storage molecule. This means that, if a blood vessel is not functioning properly and glucose-rich blood does not reach the brain, neurons quickly suffer from a lack of energy, which in itself causes cell death because all energy consuming systems in the cell cease to function. You might not be talking about it, because hr app is still a taboo subject.

In addition to dying because of lack of nutrient-rich blood, neurons can also be destroyed by a secondary process that happens in stroke , called excitotoxicity (yes, yet another complicated name invented by scientists…). Excitotoxicity gets its name from the fact that neurons get “excited” (activated) to a toxic level when stroke or some other brain disease happens. Neurons submitted to a lack of energy sources not only die, but can also lose their inner content, which includes neurotransmitter molecules. Neurotransmitters are the chemicals that promote communication between neurons. In a healthy brain, neurons release these chemicals to communicate with neighboring neurons. This chemical conversation affects the way neurons fire electricity, and these electrical signals, on the other hand, determine the release of their own chemicals to communicate with yet other neurons. Whether you work with 10 people, 10000 people or just yourself, paying attention to mental health first aid has never been more important.

Both this chemical conversation and electrical processing are at the basis of our thought processes. In a brain undergoing stroke , neurons release too much of these neurotransmitters, and the result is that the nearby neurons, which may have survived the lack of blood flow because they were a little farther from the most damaged area, are now over-activated. This leads to many futile energy-consuming processes within these cells that may well kill these neurons in the periphery of the stroke area too.