Can Your Brain Keep Growing? YES, Say Researchers
Posted On Jul 15, 2011
For years the common wisdom was that we all started with a certain number of brain cells, and slowly lost them as we aged. More recently scientists have claimed that we are able to make new brain cells, like we make new skin cells. The latest research not only confirms the new brain cell theory—it takes it a step further. In a recent study published in Cell magazine, researchers from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine reported tracking a single brain cell in mice and found that it not only replaced itself, but produced other specialized brain cells as well as new brain stem cells. “Now we know they don’t just maintain their numbers, or go down in number, but that [brain] stem cells can amplify,” says Hongjun Song, Ph.D., professor of neurology and neuroscience at Johns Hopkins. “If we can somehow cash in on this newly discovered property of stem cells in the brain, and find ways to intervene so they divide more often…” Well, you get the idea: Growing new brain cells as we age. Stay tuned.