Description: What were you told about the cells in the human brain and aging? That our neurons die off as we age and are not replaced? That we have the most neurons we are ever going to have at birth and things go downhill from there? Well if so, it may be time to rethink that stuff. Have read through the article linked below and be prepared to change a few basic bits of your knowledge around. As well, pay particular attention to things that might be useful in talking about or accounting for age related changes in brain function (if a diminishing number of neurons is not going to a viable explanation).
Source: Older adults grow just as many new brain cells as young people, ScienceDaily, Science News
Date: April 5, 2018
Photo Credit: gorbovoi81/Fotolia
So, the hippocampi of many aging brains continue to generate neurons and limits to functioning may relate more to declines in vascularization or in the number of progenitor cell possessed at different ages. These changes may also be linked to changes on cognitive-emotional resilience, something else to consider in the mix that is brain-based aging.
Questions for Discussion:
- Do we stop producing neurons at some point in development?
- If we DO continue to generate neurons into old age what sorts of other things might account for any aged-related brain-based declines in function?
- What might the findings of this research suggest about new possible courses of treatment or life style planning related to brain function in aging?
References (Read Further):
Maura Boldrini, Camille A. Fulmore, Alexandria N. Tartt, Laika R. Simeon, Ina Pavlova, Verica Poposka, Gorazd B. Rosoklija, Aleksandar Stankov, Victoria Arango, Andrew J. Dwork, René Hen, J. John Mann. Human Hippocampal Neurogenesis Persists throughout Aging. Cell Stem Cell, 2018; 22 (4): 589 DOI: 10.1016/j.stem.2018.03.015 http://www.cell.com/cell-stem-cell/pdf/S1934-5909(18)30121-8.pdf
Lazarov, O., Mattson, M. P., Peterson, D. A., Pimplikar, S. W., & van Praag, H. (2010). When neurogenesis encounters aging and disease. Trends in neurosciences, 33(12), 569-579. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2981641/
Klempin, F., & Kempermann, G. (2007). Adult hippocampal neurogenesis and aging. European archives of psychiatry and clinical neuroscience, 257(5), 271-280. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Friederike_Klempin/publication/51383413_Adult_hippocampal_neurogenesis_and_aging/links/02e7e515d8f5c1b43b000000.pdf
Varela‐Nallar, L., Aranguiz, F. C., Abbott, A. C., Slater, P. G., & Inestrosa, N. C. (2010). Adult hippocampal neurogenesis in aging and Alzheimer’s disease. Birth Defects Research Part C: Embryo Today: Reviews, 90(4), 284-296. https://repositorio.uc.cl/bitstream/handle/11534/12371/Adult%20Hippocampal%20Neurogenesis%20in%20Aging%20and%20Alzheimer’s%20Disease.pdf?sequence=1
Marr, R. A., Thomas, R. M., & Peterso, D. A. (2010). Insights into neurogenesis and aging: potential therapy for degenerative disease?. Future neurology, 5(4), 527-541. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2929019/