Brain derived neurotrophic factor is a potein involved in the growth of new brain cells, memory, and learning. A common mutation in BDNF has been associated with reduced BDNF levels. Accordingly, many studies have impicated the mutation induced reducation in BDNF levels with neuropsychiatric disorders and impairments in select cognitive functions. To safely increase BDNF levels, engage in daily, sustained aerobic activity. Both moderate and high intensity physical exertion have been consistently associated with significantly increased BDNF.
Catecholamine Breakdown/Cardiac Risk from Coffee
COMT is an enzme involved in the breakdown of catecholamines, which include dopamine, adrenaline, and noradrenaline. A common mutation that reduces COMT activity is associated with high levels of dopamine in the brain, and has been indepently associated with increased pleasure and novelty seeking behavior, improved working memory, and an increased sensitivty to pain and stress. Seperately, this reduced activity mutation has been associated with increased levels of noradrenaline following exercise. Conversely, individuals with the activity form of COMT may have improved resiliency to stress and pain.