Memory Myth Once Brain Cells Die Theyre Gone for Good

For years, scientists assumed that once you reached adulthood, you stopped growing new brain cells. In other words, they assumed that once brain cells died, they weren't replaced. But a few years ago, scientists found that adults do grow new brain cells. What's especially encouraging about this finding is that much of the new growth occurs in the hippocampus, the brain structure that's crucial for memory consolidation.

This finding has transformed the way neuroscientists think about the aging brain and memory. We now believe that, in most cases, no matter how old you are, your brain is capable of producing new brain cells that have the potential to support pathways that enable you to form new memories. And if the brain is able to generate new neurons, there's hope that one day it may be possible to offset the damage and severe memory loss brought on by degenerative brain disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease.

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