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Sunday, October 11, 2015
You Can Grow New Brain Cells. Here is How.
0:12Friends,I still remember what adults used to say when I was younger - "nerve cells can't be regenerated. However, that is not true. We can grow new cells: brain or otherwise - we are made of Live cells.If you take good care of them - you will live a longer and healthier life. Cleanse, nourish, be positive and strive to be happy. Love, Always, Eugeniya Health Essentials LLC.AromaTherapyCare4U.com
Below is Sandrine Thuret's, Neural stem cell researcher, presentation on TED. Interactive Transcript Can we, as adults, grow new nerve cells?There's still some confusion about that question,as this is a fairly new field of research.For example, I was talking to one of my colleagues, Robert,who is an oncologist,and he was telling me,"Sandrine, this is puzzling.Some of my patients that have been told they are cured of their cancerstill develop symptoms of depression."And I responded to him,"Well, from my point of view that makes sense.The drug you give to your patients that stops the cancer cells multiplyingalso stops the newborn neurons being generated in their brain."And then Robert looked at me like I was crazy and said,"But Sandrine, these are adult patients --adults do not grow new nerve cells."And much to his surprise, I said, "Well actually, we do."And this is a phenomenon that we call neurogenesis.
1:14Now Robert is not a neuroscientist,and when he went to medical school he was not taught what we know now --that the adult brain can generate new nerve cells.So Robert, you know, being the good doctor that he is,wanted to come to my labto understand the topic a little bit better.And I took him for a tourof one of the most exciting parts of the brainwhen it comes to neurogenesis --and this is the hippocampus.So this is this gray structure in the center of the brain.And what we've known already for very long,is that this is important for learning, memory, mood and emotion.However, what we have learned more recentlyis that this is one of the unique structures of the adult brainwhere new neurons can be generated.And if we slice through the hippocampusand zoom in,what you actually see here in blueis a newborn neuron in an adult mouse brain.So when it comes to the human brain --my colleague Jonas Frisén from the Karolinska Institutet,has estimated that we produce 700 new neurons per dayin the hippocampus.You might think this is not much,compared to the billions of neurons we have.But by the time we turn 50,we will have all exchanged the neurons we were born with in that structurewith adult-born neurons.
2:54So why are these new neurons important and what are their functions?First, we know that they're important for learning and memory.And in the lab we have shownthat if we block the ability of the adult brainto produce new neurons in the hippocampus,then we block certain memory abilities.And this is especially new and true for spatial recognition --so like, how you navigate your way in the city.
3:25We are still learning a lot,and neurons are not only important for memory capacity,but also for the quality of the memory.And they will have been helpful to add time to our memoryand they will help differentiate very similar memories, like:how do you find your bikethat you park at the station every day in the same area,but in a slightly different position?
3:51And more interesting to my colleague Robertis the research we have been doing on neurogenesis and depression.So in an animal model of depression,we have seen that we have a lower level of neurogenesis.And if we give antidepressants,then we increase the production of these newborn neurons,and we decrease the symptoms of depression,establishing a clear link between neurogenesis and depression.But moreover, if you just block neurogenesis,then you block the efficacy of the antidepressant.So by then, Robert had understoodthat very likely his patients were suffering from depressioneven after being cured of their cancer,because the cancer drug had stopped newborn neurons from being generated.And it will take time to generate new neuronsthat reach normal functions.
4:48So, collectively, now we think we have enough evidenceto say that neurogenesis is a target of choiceif we want to improve memory formation or mood,or even prevent the decline associated with aging,or associated with stress.
5:07So the next question is:can we control neurogenesis?The answer is yes.And we are now going to do a little quiz.I'm going to give you a set of behaviors and activities,and you tell me if you think they will increase neurogenesisor if they will decrease neurogenesis.Are we ready?OK, let's go.
5:31So what about learning?Increasing?Yes.Learning will increase the production of these new neurons.
5:39How about stress?Yes, stress will decrease the production of new neurons in the hippocampus.
5:47How about sleep deprivation?Indeed, it will decrease neurogenesis.
5:53How about sex?Oh, wow!
5:57Yes, you are right, it will increase the production of new neurons.However, it's all about balance here.We don't want to fall in a situation --
6:08about too much sex leading to sleep deprivation.
6:13How about getting older?So the neurogenesis rate will decrease as we get older,but it is still occurring.
6:25And then finally, how about running?I will let you judge that one by yourself.
6:32So this is one of the first studiesthat was carried out by one of my mentors, Rusty Gage from the Salk Institute,showing that the environment can have an impacton the production of new neurons.And here you see a section of the hippocampus of a mousethat had no running wheel in its cage.And the little black dots you see are actually newborn neurons-to-be.And now, you see a section of the hippocampus of a mousethat had a running wheel in its cage.So you see the massive increaseof the black dots representing the new neurons-to-be.
7:07So activity impacts neurogenesis, but that's not all.What you eat will have an effecton the production of new neurons in the hippocampus.So here we have a sample of diet --of nutrients that have been shown to have efficacy.And I'm just going to point a few out to you:Calorie restriction of 20 to 30 percent will increase neurogenesis.Intermittent fasting -- spacing the time between your meals --will increase neurogenesis.Intake of flavonoids,which are contained in dark chocolate or blueberries,will increase neurogenesis.Omega-3 fatty acids,present in fatty fish, like salmon,will increase the production of these new neurons.Conversely, a diet rich in high saturated fatwill have a negative impact on neurogenesis.Ethanol -- intake of alcohol -- will decrease neurogenesis.However, not everything is lost;resveratrol, which is contained in red wine,has been shown to promote the survival of these new neurons.So next time you are at a dinner party,you might want to reach for this possibly "neurogenesis-neutral" drink.
8:23And then finally, let me point out the last one --a quirky one.So Japanese groups are fascinated with food textures,and they have shown that actually soft diet impairs neurogenesis,as opposed to food that requires mastication -- chewing -- or crunchy food.
8:41So all of this data,where we need to look at the cellular level,has been generated using animal models.But this diet has also been given to human participants,and what we could see is that the diet modulates memory and moodin the same direction as it modulates neurogenesis,such as: calorie restriction will improve memory capacity,whereas a high-fat diet will exacerbate symptoms of depression --as opposed to omega-3 fatty acids, which increase neurogenesis,and also help to decrease the symptoms of depression.So we think that the effect of dieton mental health, on memory and mood,is actually mediated by the production of the new neurons in the hippocampus.And it's not only what you eat,but it's also the texture of the food, when you eat itand how much of it you eat.
9:44On our side -- neuroscientists interested in neurogenesis --we need to understand better the function of these new neurons,and how we can control their survival and their production.We also need to find a way to protect the neurogenesis of Robert's patients.And on your side --I leave you in charge of your neurogenesis.
10:13Margaret Heffernan: Fantastic research, Sandrine.Now, I told you you changed my life --I now eat a lot of blueberries.
10:20Sandrine Thuret: Very good.
10:22MH: I'm really interested in the running thing.Do I have to run?Or is it really just about aerobic exercise,getting oxygen to the brain?Could it be any kind of vigorous exercise?
10:35ST: So for the moment,we can't really say if it's just the running itself,but we think that anything that indeed will increase the production --or moving the blood flow to the brain,should be beneficial.
10:50MH: So I don't have to get a running wheel in my office?
10:53ST: No, you don't!
10:54MH: Oh, what a relief! That's wonderful.Sandrine Thuret, thank you so much.