A Neuroscientist Explains How Heatwaves Affect our brains!

Anyone else having trouble focusing in this heat?

We’ve entered into yet another heatwave, and while some might be basking in the sun, our brains could be suffering.

Multiple studies over the years have shown that people struggle to perform at optimal levels when the temperature rises.

A clinical neuroscientist for health and well-being explains what happens to the brain in the heat!

She says: ‘As the temperature goes up, the cognitive function goes down because heat affects our brain.

‘Higher temperatures can stop nerve fibres from working properly.’

‘This means that sometimes messages cannot get to and from the brain which is why you may experience fatigue, weakness, or problems with balance or vision.’

This happens because the part of the brain that regulates our temperature has to work overtime in warmer weather.

‘This part of the brain is also affected by hormonal changes, so combined with the heat this can slow brain messages from getting through which will affect our brain function, mood and cognition.’ 

When temperatures are as high as they were this past weekend, unwanted proteins and ions can build up in the brain-this can affect the brain’s regular function.

The boiling point of the brain, if you will, is at 40 degrees, as this is when the blood-brain barrier begins to break down.

One way to minimize the effects of this is to keep hydrated, as dehydration can reduce brain neuronal activity.