May 16, 2014

Brain Cell Myths Debunked

Brain cells can’t regenerate is an old myth. Also drinking kills brain cells is an old myth.

The reason for the regeneration myth is that it was believed and taught by the science community for a long time. In 1998, scientists at the Sweden and the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California discovered that brain cells in mature humans can regenerate. It had previously been long believed that complex brains would be severely disrupted by new cell growth, but the study found that the memory and learning center of the brain can create new cells.

Even in alcoholics, alcohol use does not actually result in the death of brain cells. It may temporarily damage the ends of neurons, called dendrites. This results in problems conveying messages between the neurons. The cell is not damaged, but the way that it communicates with others is temporarily altered.

Scientific medical research has actually demonstrated that the moderate consumption of alcohol is associated with better thinking and reasoning skills and memory than is abstaining from alcohol. Moderate drinking helps the brain function better into old age.