In the past, we believed that the adult brain is not capable of nerve renewal, but in American scientists proved that this is not true. There is a process of nerve renewal in our brain and it is important for our mental health. There are even factors that can contribute to the production of nerve cells and achieve better brain efficacy. Read on to learn more about nerve cell renewal. Meanwhile, you can always check out this type of post in Giles place.
The Process of Nerve Cell Renewal
Before the 1960s, we believed that our brain is already fully formed when we were born. In 1962, American scientists found that the brain of the rats can produce neurons. In 1968, further research proved that the brain of humans has a similar ability. Dr. Harald Hutler, a German neurologist discovered a process called neurogenesis, when nerve cells grow from forerunner cells. Such process occurs from age 20 to 80 years old but is faster in a younger person’s brain. By 50, all the neurons a person was born with are already replaced by new ones.
The parts of the brain where nerve renewal happens are in the hippocampus and the subventricular zone. The former is a special zone which is credited for a person’s ability to express emotions, to memorize and to learn. The latter is located in the ventricles of the brain. The hippocampus is estimated to produce 700 neurons daily. The new neurons then migrate to the brain’s other parts where they integrate into the neural circuits.
Importance of Nerve Cell Renewal
Nerve cell renewal through neuron production is important to our mental health. If the adult brain’s hippocampus is prevented from nerve renewal, certain memory abilities are blocked. An example of this is blocking spatial recognition, the ability we need in exploring a city.
Neurons take charge when we try to memorize something, not just the fact but the timeline that aids us to segregate it from among similar memories that occurred at a certain time. When nerve renewal is slowed down, the person may suffer mental disorders, decrease in attention and depression.
It is important to support the nerve cell renewal process in our brain as it can lead to good mood, good memory and help solve problems that come with aging.
When Neurogenesis Slows Down
There are factors that contribute to the slowing down of neurogenesis. This includes:
- cancer therapies which affect the reproduction of cells
- lack of sleep
- negative emotions
- saturated fats
- severe stress
The nerve cell renewal process slows down in elder people. That is why their ability to memorize declines. A good sleep is needed for our mental help so we need to make sure we get enough of it. We should avoid food rich in saturated fats, such as chocolate, eggs, meat, oil and dairy products. Japanese scientists discovered that any soft food that is not crunchy or does not need chewing slows down neurogenesis.
Speed Up Neurogenesis
On the other hand, we can speed up neurogenesis by making it a habit to learn, have good nutrition like eating foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids and flavonoid. The latter include blueberry, strawberry, cacao, green tea, peaches, pomegranate, and apricots. Other contributing factors are positive thinking, good food, and exercise.
Simple activities that need motor skills can keep your nerves in top shape. Examples are writing, drawing and regular stretching. Be updated with everything neuropathy and see an article like this post on Gillis place.