A new landmark scientific discovery that could even help treat degenerative diseases has got the scientists’ minds rattled with excitement. Scientists have found that the brain never actually stops growing throughout the lifetime of a human being. This is shocking to many of us, since we tend to assume that the brain cells age like the normal body organs.
Researchers had previously believed that the brain stopped growing newer cells after a person grew past his/her childhood stage. The scientists believed that this was one of the main reasons why it was more difficult for adults to learn foreign languages or pick up other new skills compared to children.
But more recent research found that if some specific parts of the adult brain are hyper-stimulated, then there is the likelihood that new brain cells could form.
Now, there is actual proof that has found that the brain cells never stop growing throughout the lifetime of a human being and form thousands of new cells all the time even for the elderly cases. This new find has eliminated the theory that scientists had about memory loss being associated with old age and mental ability are not related to the loss of neurons but the lack of these cells to communicate with each other properly.
Older people have the same ability to make new cells in the thousands as younger people do, a study found by Dr. Maura Boldrini, a professor at Columbia University.
A similar amount of the hippocampus was also found in both older and younger generation which deals with cognition and emotion across all ages.
This new breakthrough will help researchers to understand some of the causes of dementia better and even how to prevent such illnesses from occurring. In Britain alone, studies have found that over 850,000 people have dementia with the figure currently expected to rise to 1.2 million by 2025.
This new find has also made scientists look at how the brain cells and neurons react within the entire hippocampus of the human brain and work after death for the first time. And this study was also found to be fruitful and found that the human brain still forms new cells and neurons even soon after death and this included even the oldest human brains.
The only difference between the brains of the older and younger brain cells of humans was the rate at which the two formed new blood vessels in the brain structures; the older brains formed blood vessels at a slower rate compared to the younger brains. But the rate of t=formation of the brain neurons and cells was the same in both cases.
Professor Boldrini also believes that another probable cause of brain deterioration could be as a result of the smaller pool of neural stem cells being formed by the brains of the older generation. And he also believes that is also caused as a result of the cell-to-cell connectivity levels, reducing in the hippocampus of the older adults. She highly believes that the decline in this cell-to-cell connectivity also compromises, to some extent, the cognitive-emotional resilience of the older generation.