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Teach Your Old Brain New Tricks June 7, 2007

Posted by Dr. Rohn Kessler in aging, brain, cognitive decline, concentration, dementia, health, memory, mTBI, neurogenesis, neuroscience, parents.

“The brains of adult mammals are slowly, constantly churning out new brain cells,” it said recently in LiveScience. 

Click here for the full article.

That’s right, adult brain cells can definitely keep growing and actually change their structures in response to new experiences.

The growth is much smaller than what goes on during the critical period of development, but the fact that it goes on at all is earth-shattering, “said a neuroscientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

New research shows these new adult brain cells may actually help old cells adapt to new experiences and be used to rejuvenate our aging brains.

“Young neurons are generated in two areas of the brain: the hippocampus and the olfactory bulb. The hippocampus, in particular, appears almost like a fountain of youth. The new cells produced in the area, said neuroscientist Hongjun Song, make the whole system younger.”


New neurons are labeled to show green fluorescence in the adult mouse brain.
Credit: Kurt Sailor, Guo-li Ming and Hongjun Song

Most of us know how fast children learn — much faster than we do (I’m 64). Their brain plasticity is phenomenal. But we adults can continue to adapt to new experiences even though our brains are more hardwired than our children’s brains.

At Sparks of Genius we see this all the time in children as young as six and adults in their eighties. Both young ­and old are capable of new learning.

Dr. Paul Nussbaum, a clinical neuropsychologist, writes how important new learning is for adults, especially the elderly.   Not any kind of learning but novel, rich and complex learning.

In other words, engage your mind in mentally stimulating activities!

Adult and elderly clients at Sparks of Gemius use a special combination of computer programs to train their brain for more successes in life. They can improve cognitive skills like memory, attention, listening and thinking. The can even increase the central processing speed of their brains.

The Sparks of Genius message to adults and seniors is: “Defy labels. Move beyond limitations decided by others. You can do more than you ever thought you could.”

 Dr. Rohn Kessler



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