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Newsweek

Melissa Matthews
10 hrs ago

Adults
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Can Make
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New 
Brain
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Cells 
Even
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in Their 70s
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Whether or not adults make new brain cells has been a constant topic of debate. A new
study published today offers hope for our aging brains with the discovery that adults
continue to make neurons even in old age. Neurons help us perform daily functions
by sending message from our brains to the body.

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Until the 1960s, scientists believed that humans stopped making neurons not long after
birth, Scientific American reported in March 2018. But as research grew, scientists found
more evidence to indicate that our brains continued to evolve. Last month, research
published in the journal Nature challenged this belief with a study that determined adult
brains had no traces of new neurons.  
Now, a study published in the journal Cell Stem Cell indicates that our brains continue to
make neurons in the hippocampus as we age. This has been shown to help in making
memories and managing emotions during stressful times, according to study co-author Dr.
Maura Boldrini of Columbia University. 

Learning more about how our brains change with age also could provide
new Parkinson’s
Newsweek
and Alzheimer’s disease treatments.
Melissa Matthews
"We found
10 hrs ago that older people have similar ability to make thousands of hippocampal new
neurons from progenitor cells as younger people do," Boldrini said in a statement.
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For this study, researchers studied hippocampi from 28 people between 14 and 79 years
old, looking for neurons that had been recently formed as well as blood vessels in that
region of the brain. They found that even older people produced new brain cells as
evidenced by thousands of immature neurons found in the brain. But older people do form
fewer blood vessels, which help keep blood flowing and our brains healthy, according to
the Alzheimer’s Association.

Although, we naturally lose brain cells as we age, some researchers hope to stimulate the
growth of new ones, which may protect against Alzheimer’s disease or treat depression,
reported Harvard Health Publications in September 2016.

However, this new study indicates that we do have some control over maintaining brain
health. 
"This also means that through healthy lifestyle, enriched environment, social interactions,
and exercise, we can maintain these neurons healthy and functioning, and sustain healthy
aging," Boldrini told Newsweek. 

Slideshow: 13 ways to reverse the effects of aging (Courtesy: Mom.me) 

Newsweek
Melissa Matthews
10 hrs ago

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13 Ways to Reverse the Effects of Aging

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