Brain of gentleman side view

Brain aging doesn't have to age as fast as the body, and, the brain has the ability to regenerate it's youthful capabilities through proper nutrition, training and exercise.

I read this article -- 115-YEAR-OLD HAS PERFECT BRAIN FUNCTION! -- a couple years ago. Please take the time to read it. This is only one case, but it is one of the most interesting cases on record.

I know this brain age case is rare, but, the facts are that genetics are not 100% of the reason that she lived so long and her brain stayed so healthy and sharp. Granted, genetics did give her some advantage over most, but I feel that if we dug deeply into her past, we would see that she made some sound lifestyle choices.

Aging brain research has found a new friend in Neuroplasticity or Brain Plasticity. Michael Merzenich is a neuroscientist who has been one of the pioneers of brain plasticity for more than three decades. He believed that an aging brain was not a necessary evil.

He has made some of “the most ambitious claims for the field - that anti brain aging exercises may be as useful as drugs to treat diseases as severe as schizophrenia - that plasticity exists from cradle to the grave, and that radical improvements in cognitive functioning - how we learn, think, perceive, and remember are possible even in the elderly.”

Merzenich’s work was affected by a crucial discovery made by David Hubel and Torsten Wiesel in their work with kittens. The experiment involved sewing one eye shut and recording the cortical brain maps. Hubel and Wiesel saw that the portion of the kitten’s brain associated with the shut eye was not idle, as expected.

Instead, it processed visual information from the open eye. It was“… as though the brain didn’t want to waste any ‘cortical real estate’ and had found a way to rewire itself.”

This implied brain plasticity during the critical period.

Merzenich argued, however, that brain plasticity could occur beyond the critical period. His first encounter with adult plasticity came when he was engaged in a postdoctoral study with Clinton Woosley. The experiment was based on observation of what occurred in the brain when one peripheral nerve was cut and subsequently regenerated.

The two scientists micro-mapped the hand maps of monkey brains before and after cutting a peripheral nerve and sewing the ends together. Afterwards, the hand map in the brain that was expected to be jumbled was nearly normal.

This was a substantial breakthrough. Merzenich asserted that "if the brain map could normalize its structure in response to abnormal input, the prevailing view that we are born with a hardwired system had to be wrong. The brain had to be plastic."

So, start your anti brain aging program of proper diet, brain exercise, physical exercise and nutritional supplements.


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