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How You Can Prevent Senility During Your Old Age

May 10, 2008
The reason 'old sayings' become 'old sayings' is because they've been proven to be universally true and because they're true, they've been handed down and passed around for generations. One such old saying is "You learn something new every day".

It's fortunate for us that scientists are among the foremost people who actively pursue learning something new every day. Case in point: for years, most people have understood and accepted the fact that our brain cells die as we age and cannot be regenerated.

Scientists however have discovered that brain cells do grow in adults, specifically in the area of the brain called hippocampus, which is responsible for learning and memories. They've also discovered that senior citizens can have the same number of brain cells as they did as teenagers.

The brain does shrink in size over time. After reaching full size at around age 20, it begins to shrink by about 1% every year. The decrease in size is not due to neuron (nerve cell) death, but rather to changes of the dendrites that branch out from the neurons and the synapses (the spaces between adjacent neurons) between them.

When dendrites change and their number decreases, brain function is reduced as we age. Neurons are connected to each other by dendrites, something like entrance ramps that connect surface roads to the interstate. When these entrance ramps are destroyed or are dilapidated, you will not be able to continue your journey.

When nerve impulses are also destroyed or are in poor condition, they similarly have a hard time continuing on their path and reach a 'dead end'. The good news is that we don't have to suffer from brain cell deterioration as we get older.

When brain function, and dendrites are not used, they deteriorate. Use it or lose it, another old saying goes. This is particularly true of our body. Inactive neural pathways will slowly decrease in strength and function and will eventually stop performing correctly.

For example, do you know the biggest reason so many elderly people can't sit in the floor? Because at some point in their lives, they stopped sitting in the floor. In order to make a particular movement, the brain combines the electrical signals of many neurons and makes a muscle movement. If the movements required to lower oneself to the floor are never used, those pathways between neurons become too weak to carry the signal and the brain's memory of how to perform that movement is not able to be recovered.

In order to promote neurogenesis (the making of new brain cells), we need to stay mentally and physically active. Note that stress can inhibit the formation of brain cells. Do you know what enhances it? Physical exercise.

We can stay active mentally by doing mentally challenging things, like crossword puzzles and brain teasers. By staying mentally and physically active, we can make the brain continue generating new brain cells and reduce our changes of suffering from senility.

Warm regards,

Christian Goodman
About the Author
Christian Goodman is a popular researcher and the creator of the alternative health Blog. His various programs has already helped thousands of people who have hypertension, weight loss problems, TMJ, vertigo, and other diseases.
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