Do brain cells Regenerate ?
Nerve cells don't repair - myth or reality?
As the hero of Leonid Bronevoy used to say, the county doctor: the head is a dark subject, cannot be examined ... . A compact cluster of nerve cells called the brain, although it has been studied for a long time by neurophysiologists, scientists have not yet been able to get answers to all questions related to the functioning of neurons.
Some time ago, up to the 90s of the last century, it was believed that the number of neurons in the human body is constant, and if lost, it is impossible to restore damaged nerve cells in the brain. This statement is partly true: during the development of the embryo, nature creates a huge reserve of cells.
A newborn child even before birth loses as a result of programmed cell death - apoptosis, almost 70% of the formed neurons. The death of neurons continues throughout life.
Starting from the age of thirty, this process is activated - a person loses up to 50,000 neurons daily. As a result of such losses, the brain of an old person shrinks by about 15% compared to its volume in adolescence and adulthood.
Characteristically, scientists note this phenomenon only in humans - in other mammals, including primates, age-related brain decrease, and as a result, senile dementia is not observed. Perhaps this is due to the fact that animals in nature do not live to old age.
Scientists believe that aging of brain tissue is a natural process inherent in nature, and is a consequence of human longevity. A lot of the body's energy is spent on the work of the brain, so when there is no need for increased activity, nature reduces the energy consumption of the brain tissue, spending energy to maintain other body systems.
These findings do support the popular belief that nerve cells do not regenerate. And why, if the body in a normal state does not need to restore dead neurons - there is a supply of cells, with an excess calculated for a lifetime.
Observations of patients with Parkinson's disease have shown that clinical manifestations of the disease appear when almost 90% of the neurons in the midbrain, which is responsible for controlling movements, die. When neurons die, their functions are taken over by neighboring nerve cells. They grow in size and form new connections between neurons.
So if in a person's life… everything is going according to plan , neurons lost in genetically determined quantities are not restored - there is simply no need for this.
More precisely, the formation of new neurons is taking place. Throughout life, a certain number of new nerve cells are constantly produced. The brain of primates, including humans, produces several thousand neurons every day. But the natural loss of nerve cells is still much greater.
But the plan can be violated. Mass death of neurons can occur. Of course, not because of a lack of positive emotions, but, for example, as a result of mechanical damage from injuries. This is where the ability to regenerate nerve cells comes into play. Scientists' studies prove that it is possible to transplant brain tissue, in which not only the transplant is not rejected, but the introduction of donor cells leads to the restoration of the recipient's nervous tissue.
Teri Wallis precedent
In addition to experiments on mice, the case of Terry Wallis, who spent twenty years in a coma after a severe car accident, can serve as evidence for scientists. Relatives refused to disconnect Terry from life support devices after doctors diagnosed a vegetative state.
After a twenty-year hiatus, Terry Wallis regained consciousness. Now he can already pronounce meaningful words, joke. Some motor functions are gradually restored, although this is complicated by the fact that during such a long time of inactivity all the muscles of the body have atrophied in a man.
Scientists 'studies of Terry Wallis' brain demonstrate a phenomenal phenomenon: Terry's brain grows new neural structures to replace those lost in an accident.
Moreover, new formations have a shape and location that are different from the usual ones. It seems that the brain grows new neurons where it is more convenient, without trying to restore those lost during trauma. Experiments carried out with patients in a vegetative state have proven that patients are able to answer questions and respond to requests. True, this can only be recorded by the activity of the brain system using magnetic resonance imaging. This discovery could fundamentally change attitudes towards patients who have fallen into a vegetative state.
The increase in the number of dying neurons can contribute not only to extreme situations such as head injuries. Stress, unhealthy diet, ecology - all these factors can increase the number of nerve cells lost by a person. Stress also reduces the formation of new neurons. Stressful situations experienced during intrauterine development and in the first time after birth can cause a decrease in the number of nerve cells in a future life.
How to restore neurons
Instead of asking a problem, is it possible to restore nervouscells, it may be worth deciding - is it worth it? In a report by Professor G. Huter at the World Congress of Psychiatrists, he described the observation of the novices of a monastery in Canada. Many of the women observed were over a hundred years old. And they all showed excellent mental and mental health: no characteristic senile degenerative changes were found in their brains.
According to the professor, four factors contribute to the preservation of neuroplasticity - the ability to brain regeneration:
- strong social ties and a friendly relationship with loved ones;
- the ability to learn and the realization of this ability throughout life;
- balance between what is desired and what is in reality;
- a stable worldview.
The nuns had all these factors.
A balanced, moderate diet also contributes to brain health. We will not discuss a drug that really restores nerve cells in this article.
Because the prescription of drugs should be done by specialists. Foods with a low calorie content and the presence of certain minerals and vitamins in the diet can stimulate the regeneration of nerve cells.
If you want to keep your brain active and functional for many years, bring your mental state into harmony with the world around you and remove stressful situations from your life.
After all, you know: all diseases are from the nerves. Eat right - it's good for your figure as well. And give your brain a constant load. The brain, like any other organ, atrophies in inaction. Live happily ever after!