Old adults grow just as many new brain cells as young people!

Neuroplasticity (see: https://www.perthbraincentre.com.au/) is the ability of the brain to change its own structure and function as a result of what happens to us, and what we do and what we think. Some have said that the discovery that the brain is not therefore “hard-wired” and can change is the most important advancement in science in over 400 years.

Photo by  Hannah Tasker  on  Unsplash

Photo by Hannah Tasker on Unsplash

There has been controversy about whether old brains are less “plastic” than young brains, however new research just published in the journal Cell Stem Cell has shown that older people produce just as many new brain cells as young people, which is great news. However they also showed that older people formed less new blood vessels to support these new brain cells, which is bad news.

We know, from a mountain of previous research that physical exercise promotes the growth of new blood vessels in the brain, so it’s likely that it’s especially important to keep physically active as we get older if we want to keep our brains healthy and plastic.

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