What is Neurogenesis:
Basically, it’s Growing New Brain Buds.
But… a wordier explanation would be:
Neurogenesis is the process by which baby neurons are born within the brain.
Wait a minute!! Weren’t we all taught in school that the central nervous system - including the brain – was incapable of growth after childhood?
In fact, in 1928 Santiago Ramón y Cajal, the father of modern neuroscience, proclaimed that the brains of adult humans never make new neurons.
Yeah… well, in 1992 Professors Perry Bartlett and Linda Richards discovered that’s not even close to being true.
In fact… they discovered that adult mouse brains contain Neural Stem Cells.
And… since then, it’s been confirmed that they also occur in the amygdala.
*Stem cells were originally discovered in parts of the adult brain in the 1990’s. (Stem cells can virtually become any cell in the entire body, such as neural progenitor cells.)
But… What Good Is It:
Well… for one thing… neurogenesis could be the key to treating neurodegenerative conditions – such as: Alzheimer’s.
How It Work:
Adult neurogenesis takes place in 3 different regions in the brain:
Neuro Stem Cells can divide infinitely, and some… become Neural Progenitor Cells – which can then become Glial Cells. Glial Cells then break down into:
Hundreds of these cells are thought to be added Every Day to the hippocampus—a comma-shaped structure involved in learning and memory.
Which basically means… by doing things that increase neurogenesis… like regular exercise and… having sex… you can create any dog-gone part of the human brain you might need.
Even those that have been damaged due to drug use, stroke, or illness.
“Exercise increases neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus, resulting in the increased production of newborn neurons.” The University of Queensland (https://qbi.uq.edu.au/brain-basics)
Hehehe “baby neurons” – now that’s a kid’s show I would watch!
Things That Shrink Brain Buds:
Things That Help Bigger-Better-Brain-Buds Grow:
What the Science Says:
“So, collectively, now we think we have enough evidence to say that neurogenesis is a target of choice if we want to improve memory formation or mood, or even prevent the decline associated with aging, or associated with stress.” Sandrine Thuret (TedTalk link below)
“Neurogenesis declines in the aging brain, mainly as a consequence of the reduction in the size of the progenitor cell pool. Both running and EE can counteract the decreased neuronal production reported in aging animals, acting through different mechanisms (Kempermann et al., 2010). Running acts at two levels to enhance neurogenesis: increasing the rate of proliferation of neural progenitor cells (van Praag et al., 1999b, 2005; Cooper et al., 2018), and accelerating the maturation and functional integration of developing neurons (Trinchero et al., 2017). EE increases survival and also accelerates maturation of new GCs, but it does not influence proliferation (Trinchero et al., 2017, 2019).”
“Even in old age, though, the brain still produces about 700 new neurons in the hippocampus per day, according to a 2013 study in the journal Cell.” Harvard.edu (link below)
*EE stands for: environmental enrichment
Where the is Science Headed:
Through the use of neurogenesis research, neuroscientists believe they may be able to treat age-associated neurodegenerative diseases with great success in the near-future.
If you exercise… you increase the amount of neurogenesis that occurs in your brain – throughout your entire life.
By getting moving… you increase the blood flow and electrical signals to the brain, this stimulates the growth of new baby neurons.
So… when you think about it… by letting our kids play during the morning… before school… we can give them the best possible shot for Their Best Possible Future.
(P.S. School should not begin until 10:00 am – per this mom’s humble opinion. Growing brains need sleep.)
So… ask yourself…. and ask your kids…
Do You Want Bigger Better Brain Buds?
And if so… then… go play, hard!
And… eat right, get enough rest and… make sure to have plenty of *sex!
*After marriage of course.
Cool and Interesting Links:
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What is Neurogenesis:
How Exercise Really Makes a Difference:
© Raena Exe 2020
*All rights reserved
Raena's Wellness Facts:
1. I am healthier and in better shape now, at 48, than when I was at 25.