Friday, August 17, 2001

Brain cell (1949) "is not" Brain cell (2001)?

Does the process of aging unconditionally imply the slow loss of mental skills? Scientists have begun to doubt what they "knew" about the aging brain. From Judy Foreman of the Boston Globe:

The lesson of old geniuses: Scientists once thought brain cells did little but die as they aged. But new research raises the hope of intellectual growth to the very end.... The neuroscientists' gloom was based on their belief that aging causes a steady loss of neurons (brain cells) all over the brain. They ''knew'' the adult brain could not generate new neurons. Worst of all, scientists assumed that nothing could be done to boost the odds of having a healthy, aging brain.

Some mental skills decline with age...but wisdom and common sense may increase.

Read the rest of the story...

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