Habits That Help You Regrow Brain Cells
Its no secret that our brains tend to slow down as we age. After the age of 25, we start to naturally lose brain cells. The good news is, scientists have discovered that you can grow new brain cells throughout your life. There are several habits you can adopt to promote the growth of new cells and keep your brain as sharp as ever.
Here are nine habits that help you regrow brain cells:
The Brain Is Super Vulnerable
Your brain and your spinal cord together form what we call the central nervous system. Looking at a skeleton, have you ever asked yourself why the brain and spinal cord are the only organs in our body encased in bone? True, the lungs and the heart are also well protected by the rib cage. But when you look at the skull, it is basically a bony box with a few holes in it to let nerves leave the brain. The nervous system is unique compared to many other organs in that it does not expand or contract like your heart, lungs, and intestines do. Because there is no major movement, it is alright for the central nervous system to be entirely encased in bone. Why is the central nervous system so well protected? The answer is simple: because it is super sensitive and very vulnerable.
Which organ of your body do you think youre injuring most often? Probably, your skin. Think about a time when you fell, your skin broke open and you had a wound like a scrape or a cut for some time. If this injury happened a while ago, chances are you wont even see the spot on your skin any more. Or maybe you can see a scar, but basically your skin was able to repair itself almost perfectly. Unfortunately, the brain and spinal cord are fundamentally different. If your brain gets injured, some damage may persist throughout the rest of your life.
Brave New World Of Adult Neurogenesis
- B.A., Biology, Emory University
- A.S., Nursing, Chattahoochee Technical College
For almost 100 years, it had been a mantra of biology that;brain cells or neurons;do not regenerate. It was thought that all your significant brain development happened from conception to age 3.;Contrary to that widely held popular belief, scientists now know that neurogenesis continuously occurs in specific regions in the adult brain.
In a startling scientific discovery;made in the late 1990s, researchers at Princeton University found that new neurons were continually being added to the brains of adult monkeys. The finding was significant because monkeys and humans have similar brain structures.
These findings and several others looking at cell regeneration in other parts of the brain opened up a whole new line of research about “adult neurogenesis,” the process of the birth of;neurons from neural stem cells in a mature brain.;
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Show/hide Words To Know
Differentiation: when a cell chooses a particular genetically determined path that causes it to perform only a few specialized tasks…;more
Paralysis: not being able to move part or all of the body.
Regeneration: to make something new that was old, damaged, or used…;more
Stem cell: cells that don’t have a specific function yet and can become any cell type…more
Simple Drug Formula Regenerates Brain Cells
Researchers have taken a step forward in the quest for a pill that can recover brain function lost through strokes, brain injuries, and conditions such as Alzheimers disease.
Scientists at Pennsylvania State University in State College converted glial cells into functioning neurons by using a combination of just four small molecules.
Glial cells, among other things, can support and protect neurons, which are cells that perform the mental functions of the brain.
In a new study paper that now features in the journal Stem Cell Reports, the researchers describe how their converted neurons survived for more than 7 months in laboratory cultures.
The new neurons also showed an ability to work like normal brain cells. They formed networks and communicated with each other using both electrical and chemical signals.
Senior study author Gong Chen, who is a professor of biology at Penn State, explains that neurons do not regenerate when brain tissue becomes damaged.
In contrast, he adds, glial cells, which gather around damaged brain tissue, can proliferate after brain injury.
In their study paper, he and his team explain how glial cells form scars that protect the neurons from further injury.
However, due to their constant presence, glial scars also block the growth of new neurons and the transmission of signals between them.
Previous attempts to restore neuron regeneration by removing the glial scars have had limited success, note the study authors.
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How You Can Regrow/regenerate Your Brain Cells
Not long ago it was mainstream knowledge that brain cells slowly die and never come back. A sad and bleak outlook indeed. Though in the past 15 years, us humans have begun to discover otherwise. The brain, what we looked at as static and diminishing, in reality is infinitely complex and adaptable to stress and even damage. The first hints of brain cell regeneration were found when nerve stem cells were discovered in multiple areas in the brain. One of these areas, the hippocampus, is responsible for cognitive memory and learning.
This was a huge breakthrough discovery. Why? The brain can regenerate its self AND it does so in areas that improve functions of intelligence. My experience tells me that ever single function of the body can be optimized and increased through natural strategies. Brain cell regeneration is one bodily function that can be increased and enhanced. This has been shown in multiple scientific studies to be true.
There are many factors involved in neurogenesis, many more than we know. However, a very few rare natural compounds, when ingested, have been found to directly up-regulate or increase the production of neural stem cells in the hippocampus of the brain. These compounds are not found in the standard American/western diet but were certainly found in the plant/fungal medicines of wild humans past. This can be said, at least for the wild humans which lived in the areas where these botanicals are native growing.
Lions Mane Mushroom
How Brain Regeneration Works
Most of your brain cells are formed while you were in your mothers womb. Other neural cells of your brain developed during infancy. Until recent decades, doctors believed a certain level of brain degeneration is inevitable because your brain had a limited capacity to regenerate. Now we know better.
New research from the last two decades suggests that your brain is actually able to create new cells throughout your lifespan and brain regeneration is possible. Your brain actually still creates about 700 new neurons per day in the hippocampus. This allows the hippocampus to maintain its central function.
The science of neurogenesis suggests that aerobic exercise, brain exercises, stress relief, and other lifestyle habits can encourage brain regeneration, improve your brain health, and may help to prevent or treat degenerative diseases, such as Alzheimers and Parkinsons disease, or reverse damage from traumatic brain injury .
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Gel Material May Help To Regrow Brain Tissue Following Stroke
A photomicrograph showing new tissue growing in the stroke cavity in a mouse. Red tubes are blood vessels; green filaments are nerve fibers. Image: Courtesy of UCLA Health
A new stroke-healing gel created by UCLA researchers has helped to regrow neurons and blood vessels in mice with brains damaged by strokes. We tested this in laboratory mice to determine if it would repair the brain and lead to recovery in a model of stroke, says S. Thomas Carmichael, MD , PhD, professor and chair of neurology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. The study indicated that new brain tissue can be regenerated in what was previously just an inactive brain scar after stroke.
The results suggest that such an approach could be used to treat people who have had a stroke, says Tatiana Segura, PhD, who collaborated on the research when she was a professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at UCLA. Dr. Segura now teaches at Duke University. The brain has a limited capacity for recovery after stroke. Unlike other organs such as the liver and skin, the brain does not regenerate new connections, blood vessels or tissue structures after it is damaged. Instead, dead brain tissue is absorbed, which leaves a cavity that is devoid of blood vessels, neurons or axons the thin nerve fibers that project from neurons.
Dual-function Injectable Angiogenic Biomaterial for the Repair of Brain Tissue following Stroke,Nature Materials, May 21, 2018
A Lot More Work Ahead
The study authors point out that the findings are just one step forward toward neuron regeneration in a pill. There is still a lot of work to do in developing the right formula, particularly regarding the packaging and delivery of the small molecules.
As well as confirming their effectiveness, the researchers also need to explore the side effects and safety of the drugs.
They are confident, however, that their new four-drug formula will one day realize its potential as a straightforward treatment for people who lose neuronal function through brain injury, stroke, and neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimers disease.
My ultimate dream is to develop a simple drug delivery system, like a pill, that can help stroke and Alzheimers patients around the world to regenerate new neurons and restore their lost learning and memory capabilities.
Prof. Gong Chen
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Pivotal Research On Monkeys
Princeton researchers first found;cell regeneration in the hippocampus;and the subventricular zone of the;lateral ventricles;in monkeys, which are important structures for memory formation and functions of the central nervous system.;
This was significant but not quite as important as the 1999 finding of neurogenesis in the;cerebral cortex;section of the monkey brain. The cerebral cortex is the most complex part of the brain and scientists were startled to find neuron formation in this high-function brain area. The lobes of the cerebral cortex;are responsible for higher-level decision making and learning.
Adult neurogenesis was discovered in three areas of the cerebral cortex:
- The prefrontal region, which controls decision-making
- The inferior temporal region, which plays a role in visual recognition
- The posterior parietal region, which plays a role in 3D representation
Researchers believed that these results called for a fundamental reassessment of the development of the primate brain. Although the cerebral cortex research had been pivotal for advancing scientific research in this area, the finding remains controversial since it has not yet been proved to occur in the human brain.
And Influence The Competition
This proves and it is a first according to the neuroscientist that the number of synapses that a new neuron can create depends on the environment in which it is located, and depends notably on the astrocytes. The latter can influence competition between young and old neurons by increasing, via the molecules that they release, the competitiveness of the former. The UNIL group has, in addition, identified one of these molecules D-serine which operates on neurons and whose effects on depression and memory are currently being tested in humans.
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Astrocytes Cells That Nourish Neurons
As Nicolas Toni has observed, a young neuron does not survive if it does not succeed in creating new synapses. The researcher asked himself whether any mechanisms existed that could help establish this vital area and, if so, whether they were the same in adults and in embryos. In response to this question, UNIL researchers, in collaboration with their colleagues at the Universities of Basle and Strasbourg, looked at another type of brain cell, the astrocyte, which plays a part in the functioning of neurons and whose role is still little known.
How Is A Damaged Brain Treated
A traumatic brain injury needs emergency care that aims at
- Making sure there is enough oxygen: Oxygen will be delivered through a face mask connected to an oxygen cylinder. You may be put on artificial respiration with the help of ventilators.
- An adequate blood supply: A blood transfusion may be done.
- Maintaining blood pressure with fluids and medications.
- Preventing any further injury to the head or neck.
Doctors will focus on minimizing further loss due to inflammation, bleeding or reduced oxygen supply to the brain.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy
The doctor may prescribe hyperbaric oxygen therapy to improve the lost cognitive functions/skills, such as reading or cooking, after the brain damage. Currently, HBOT is one of the most important therapies for TBI. It involves putting you in an oxygen-rich chamber that increases the blood oxygen levels ten times the normal level.
Noninvasive brain stimulation
Noninvasive brain stimulation without the introduction of any instruments through the skin. It is a painless procedure for the treatment of TBI. Studies have shown that it could improve depression and cognitive function after TBI.
There is something known as a stem cell that seems to be a promising option to regenerate damaged neurons in the brain. Stem cells are a special type of cells that can be trained to develop into any kind of cell, such as a neuron. However, research is ongoing to determine the efficacy and safety of the therapy.
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Reprogramming Astrocytes Into Neurons
In previous work, Prof. Chen and his team had shown that it was possible to chemically reprogram a type of glial cell called astrocytes into neurons using nine small molecules in a certain sequence. However, when they explored how to translate the method from the laboratory to the clinic, they realized that it was too complicated.
So, the aim of the new study was to find a smaller combination of the molecules that can reprogram astrocytes into functioning neurons in a more straightforward way.
The researchers tested hundreds of combinations until they found an effective formula comprising four core drugs.
By using four molecules, explains first study author Jiu-Chao Yin, who is a graduate student in biology at Penn State, that modulate four critical signaling pathways in human astrocytes, we can efficiently turn human astrocytes as many as 70 percent into functional neurons.
The team also tested the effect of dropping one of the four molecules from the formula. No three-drug formula, however, was as effective as the four-drug version. In fact, the best three-drug combination was 20 percent less effective than the four-drug one.
Using only one of the molecules was not enough to convert the astrocytes into neurons.
How To Grow New Brain Cells And Make Yourself Smarter
Growing new brain cellsor neurogenesisis possible for adults.
For a long time the established dogma was that the adult brain couldnt generate any new brain cells. That is, it was believed that you were born with a certain amount of brain cells, and that was it. And since you naturally lose brain cells as you age, after age 25 it was all downhill for your brain function.
The good news is that scientists have now discovered that you can grow new brain cells throughout your entire life. The process is called neurogenesis. Specifically, new brain cellswhich are called neuronsgrow in the hippocampus. This is the region of the brain that is responsible for learning information, storing long-term memories, and regulating emotions. This has many different positive implications. Here are some of the most important ways in which taking action to encourage neurogenesis can help you:
- As Dr. Amar Sahaya neuroscientist with Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospitalexplains, developing new brain cells can help enhance cognitive functions. New neurons enhance your ability to learn.
- Growing new neurons can help you stave off Alzheimers.
- Neurogenesis will help you to keep your memory sharp.
- The growth of new brain cells can both treat and prevent depression, as well as help to reduce anxiety.
In order to make the most of your brain you need to do the following:
- Take Care of Your Brain Cells
- Grow New Brain Cells
- Keep the New Neurons From Dying
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Cells Which Manage Their Territory
The Lausanne neuroscientists used a genetic tool that was particularly clever, as it did not kill the astrocytes but blocked their action. As a result, these nerve cells could no longer release the various molecules they normally emit into the surrounding space. Thus, they could no longer communicate with the outside world; they became dumb. The researchers then noted that a neuron whose dendrites crossed a zone where the silent astrocytes were to be found formed half the number of synapses than when it developed in the territory of a normal astrocyte. Moreover, if we rendered the astrocytes dumb, we saw a marked increase in the deaths of immature neurons.
Can Neurons Regenerate A New Study Says They Can
A study published in Science claims to have found the genetic pathways and mechanisms responsible for the suppression of neuronal regeneration in mammalian neurons and how to repress those mechanisms to aid in neuronal regeneration after axonal injuries.
A neuron is the basic working unit of the brain, much like the cells in the rest of the body. These working units are important for the transmission of signals and information from the brain to other neurons, or to muscles and tissues in the body.
Damage to neurons is extremely detrimental to ones health as they are very important for the normal functioning of the body. Furthermore, damage to neurons is often permanent as neurons are famously known for their inability to regenerate.
However, this is a feature shared by all mammalian species. Neurons in the mammalian nervous system are unable to regenerate after injury but can regenerate effectively during the developmental process. Many studies are being performed to better understand the mechanism behind this inability.
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