The fastest changing cells in our body are in our intestines, while the slowest changing cells are nerve cells, which may take many years to regenerate.
Although when we were medical students we learnt that the number of cells in the brain is a constant since birth throughout normal life , the new research shows some changes to previous knowledge.
While scientific research shows that there is new nerve cell growth in adults which is called Adult Hippocampal Neurogenesis (AHN), science show that thoughts and emotions actually can catalyze fully formed neuron cells to regenerate at a molecular level through an amazing process called Neuroplasticity.
Neuroplasticity for you to understand, is the ability of the brain to change and adapt in response to new experiences and stimuli.
One way that thoughts and emotions can influence neuroplasticity is by affecting the production of interesting brain chemicals called neurotrophins. Neurotrophins are a sort of proteins that support the growth, survival, and maintenance of nerve cells.
When we have positive thoughts and emotions, our brains are supposed to release more neurotrophins which can help to promote the regeneration of damaged nerve cells (neurons) and the formation of new neurons.
Another way that thoughts and emotions can influence neuroplasticity is by affecting the formation of new connections between neurons which are called synapses. Synapses are the junctions where neurons communicate with each other. When we learn new things or have new experiences, our brains form new synaptic connections. This process is known as synaptic potentiation.
Any way positive thoughts and emotions can promote synaptic potentiation, while negative thoughts and emotions can inhibit it. This is because positive thoughts and emotions release neurotransmitters that promote the growth and strengthening of synaptic connections, while negative thoughts and emotions release neurotransmitters that inhibit the growth and strengthening of synaptic connections, specially the positive wiring.
Overall, research suggests that positive thoughts and emotions can have a beneficial effect on neuroplasticity and promote the regeneration of neuron cells. This is likely due to the effects of positive thoughts and emotions on the production of neurotrophins and the formation of new synaptic connections to support the positivity and good feelings about one's life.
Here are some tips for promoting neuroplasticity and neuron regeneration through positive thoughts and emotions:
Practice mindfulness and meditation: Mindfulness is the practice of paying attention to the present moment without judgment. Meditation is the practice of focusing your attention on a single point or object. Both of these practices have been shown to promote neuroplasticity and reduce stress.
Engage in activities that bring you joy: When you do things that you enjoy, your brain releases dopamine, a neurotransmitter that is associated with pleasure and reward. Dopamine can help to promote neuroplasticity and neuron regeneration.
Spend time with loved ones:
Social connection is important for both mental and physical health. When you spend time with loved ones, your brain releases oxytocin, a neurotransmitter that is associated with bonding and trust. Oxytocin can help to promote neuroplasticity and neuron regeneration.
Get regular exercise:
Exercise is good for your overall health, including your brain health. When you exercise, your brain releases endorphins, which have mood-boosting and pain-relieving effects. Endorphins can also help to promote neuroplasticity and neuron regeneration.
If you are looking for ways to improve your brain health and promote neuron regeneration, consider incorporating these tips into your life and to learn more about the types of therapy that can help you directly that involve neuroplasticity, you may connect wih us on a free call.
Here are some reliable research studies that show that thoughts and emotions catalyze neuron cell regeneration :
A 2018 study published in the journal Nature Neuroscience found that positive thoughts and emotions can promote the growth of new neurons in the hippocampus, a region of the brain involved in memory and learning. The study found that mice that were exposed to positive experiences, such as playing with toys, had a higher rate of neurogenesis (the growth of new neurons) in the hippocampus than mice that were not exposed to positive experiences.
A 2019 study published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology found that mindfulness meditation can promote neuroplasticity and the regeneration of damaged neurons. The study found that participants who practiced mindfulness meditation for 8 weeks had a significant increase in gray matter volume in the hippocampus.
A 2020 study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that positive social interactions can increase the production of neurotrophins, proteins that support the growth and survival of neurons. The study found that mice that were housed in cages with other mice had higher levels of neurotrophins in their brains than mice that were housed alone.
These studies suggest that thoughts and emotions can have a significant impact on the health and function of our brain. Positive thoughts and emotions can promote neuroplasticity, the growth of new neurons, and the regeneration of damaged neurons. Negative thoughts and emotions, on the other hand, can inhibit neuroplasticity and damage neurons.
It is important to note that more research is needed to fully understand the mechanisms by which thoughts and emotions influence neuron regeneration. However, the existing research suggests that there is a strong link between the mind and the brain, and that our thoughts and emotions can play a role in promoting or inhibiting neuron regeneration.
The scientific research that supports the existence of neurogenesis in the adult brain are conducted using a variety of methods, including:
This technique involves injecting animals with a radioactive tracer that is incorporated into newly dividing cells. The brains of the animals are then examined to see where these labeled cells are located. Studies using autoradiography have shown that new neurons are generated in the adult hippocampus of a variety of mammals, including humans.
This technique involves using antibodies to identify specific proteins that are expressed by newly generated neurons. Studies using immunohistochemistry have confirmed the findings of autoradiography studies and have also shown that new neurons are generated in other parts of the adult brain, such as the olfactory bulb and the neocortex.
In vivo imaging:
This technique involves using microscopy to directly visualize the birth and maturation of new neurons in the living brain. Studies using in vivo imaging have shown that new neurons are generated in the adult hippocampus of mice and rats.
In addition to these basic science studies, there is also a growing body of clinical research that suggests that neurogenesis may play a role in a variety of neurological and psychiatric disorders.
For example, studies have shown that people with depression have lower levels of neurogenesis in the hippocampus than healthy individuals. Additionally, studies have shown that people with Alzheimer's disease have a loss of neurons in the hippocampus and that this loss is associated with cognitive decline.
Overall, the scientific evidence strongly supports the existence of neurogenesis in the adult brain. Further research is needed to understand the full potential of neurogenesis and how it can be harnessed to improve brain health and function.
Here are some specific examples of scientific research that supports neurogenesis:
A 2018 study published in the journal Nature found that new neurons are generated in the human hippocampus throughout adulthood.
A 2019 study published in the journal Cell Stem Cell found that exercise promotes the generation of new neurons in the adult mouse brain.
A 2020 study published in the journal Science found that a drug called trametinib can promote the generation of new neurons in the adult mouse brain and improve cognitive function in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease.
This is just a small sample of the many scientific studies that support the existence of neurogenesis.
So what are you going to do to help your brain health this week?
The methods that we use to help our clients recover from many disorders show promising results in one to three sessions and in just one session most of the time. The scientific explanation to all that may be this simplified article. Feel free to ask your questions on a free call.
Giorgio M Innocenti. Handb Clin Neurol. 2022.
Neuroplasticity, i.e., the modifiability of the brain, is different in development and adulthood. The first includes changes in: (i) neurogenesis and control of neuron number; (ii) neuronal migration; (iii) differentiation of the somato-dendritic and axonal phenotypes; (iv) formation of connections; (v) cytoarchitectonic differentiation. These changes are often interrelated and can lead to: (vi) system-wide modifications of brain structure as well as to (vii) acquisition of specific functions such as ocular dominance or language. Myelination appears to be plastic both in development and adulthood, at least, in rodents. Adult neuroplasticity is limited, and is mainly expressed as changes in the strength of excitatory and inhibitory synapses while the attempts to regenerate connections have met with limited success. The outcomes of neuroplasticity are not necessarily adaptive, but can also be the cause of neurological and psychiatric pathologies.