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Elderly people grow as many new brain cells as young, study finds




A new study conducted by Columbia University has revealed that, growth of brain cells
(neurons) in the hippocampus of adults is similar to the growth of brain cells in younger
population.

 Published in the journal Cell Stem Cell, this new study disproves the old researches which stated that neuron production of humans cease at their old age. Therefore, it has been found that even adults grow neurons as much as young people throughout their life span.

This finding has been subjected to many discussions because a recent study concluded that new neurons are not produced at the old age. The co-authors, Shawn Sorrells and Mercedes Paredes also commented that this study does not challenge previous findings done by researchers:

“For now, we do not think this new study challenges what we have concluded from our own
recently published observations: if neurogenesis continues in the adult human hippocampus, it is
an extremely rare phenomenon.”

The methodology of the aforementioned research includes a scientific examination.

Brains of 28 healthy people who died in the age range of 14-79 were examined by researchers. The lead author, Maura Boldrini, an associate professor of neurobiology in Cambridge University
mentioned the results they observed from the brain examination as follows.

"We found that older people have similar ability to make thousands of hippocampal new neurons
from progenitor cells as younger people do,"

“We also found equivalent volumes of the hippocampus across ages.”

What generally proved is that, neurogenesis, which is the capability of generating new
hippocampus cell, decline with age in rodents and primates. It is said that, when brain cell
production is ceased and its parts starts malfunctioning, it decreases creating episodic memories
which makes adults hard to learn new languages and skills.Apart from the major findings, it was also found out that adult brains have few blood vessels and connections in neurons (brain cells). Commenting on this finding Boldrini says this nature may be linked to compromised cognitive-emotional resilience.

Despite the fact that this research has been criticised, it is expected that, it would help finding
new and successful treatments for neurological conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease in the
near future.


Elderly people grow as many new brain cells as young, study finds Elderly people grow as many new brain cells as young, study finds Reviewed by Tim on April 21, 2018 Rating: 5

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