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BrainFacts.org

Introduction

The experiences we have throughout life actively shape our brains. From birth through the final stages of life, brain cells and the connections between them are changing in response to the environment. With increasingly sophisticated technology, researchers are exploring changes in brain cell structure and function throughout life more closely than ever before. What they are finding could one day guide new strategies to boost brain health and promote earlier recognition of brain disease. With imaging and the use of molecular and genetic tools, researchers are identifying key differences between the healthy brains of children, teenagers, and older adults. While many questions about the developing and aging brain remain, human and animal studies have demonstrated how a person’s lifestyle influences brain health over time. Recent studies also highlight the brain’s remarkable ability to adapt to life experiences.

Discoveries

Source: Dana Foundation
Even without a disease such as Alzheimer’s, the aging brain does show signs of wear. Researchers look to the molecular level to see if they can slow the ‘normal’ progress.
Source: Society for Neuroscience
Doctors, researchers, and an elderly woman explain healthy brain aging. Part of a video series on pressing neuroscience health issues.
Source: Society for Neuroscience
We all want to age well. Exercise, eating right, and avoiding stress help maintain a healthy body as we age, but what about the brain? New research indicates these same strategies also promote brain health.

Youth and Aging in the News

Source: The Washington Post
Date: 17 Nov 2014

A new study conducted on female mice by neuroscientists ant the NYU Langone Medical Center suggests that restricting diets affects hundreds of genes linked to aging and memory formation.

Source: The Washington Post
Date: 26 Oct 2014
Flavanols, found in cocoa and tea, reverse cognitive decline in a key area of the brain, study shows.
Source: The Atlantic
Date: 15 Oct 2014
When a 70-year-old man walked the length of the United States in 1909, he sparked a conversation that ultimately changed medicine's ideas about the value of exercise in old age. Wayne Curtis.
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