Brain Genesis of Cells Observed among Aging Population

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Researchers reveal that healthy older men and women generate number of new brain cells equivalent to their younger counterparts, according to a new study published on April 30, 2018.

Researchers from Columbia University and the New York State Psychiatric Institute report that older women and men can generate just as many new brain cells in the hippocampus via neurogenesis as younger counterparts.

The team performed brain autopsies on 28 healthy individuals between the ages of 14 -79 years who experienced sudden death. Their autopsy focus was on the state of blood vessels and recently formed neurons at the time of death.

This is the first time that a post-mortem research on neurogenesis in the hippocampus was conducted soon after loss of life, which helped figure out the rate of new brain cell growth across the human lifespan.

“We found that older people have similar ability to make thousands of hippocampal new neurons from progenitor cells as younger people do. We also found equivalent volumes of the hippocampus (a brain structure used for emotion and cognition) across ages. Nevertheless, older individuals had less vascularization and maybe less ability of new neurons to make connections. Future studies are needed to examine the cognitive and emotional correlates of these indices of neuroplasticity and the potential of exercise, diet, and medications to enhance healthy aging.” said Boldrini, co-author of the study.

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