New Neurons: Good News, Bad News
-- By Dr. Bill Klemm
for full article go to: http://www.sharpbrains.com/blog/2008/04/25/new-neurons-good-news-bad-news/
Exercise has been found important for human brain. Researchers have studied MRI images of exercising humans and found that the blood volume increased in the hippocampus in those subjects that underwent a three-month aerobic exercise program. Those subjects also performed better than controls on memory tasks. Such results indicated that new blood vessels had grown into the brain area. The inference is that this new blood supply was needed to support new neurons, and although there are other explanations, this is a reasonable speculation.
The Hippocampus and Memory.
The brain area known as the hippocampus is the one area where everyone agrees new neurons are born in the adult. The hippocampus is crucial for the for the conversion of certain short-term, scratch pad, memories into permanent form. Animal experiments have shown that the production of new neurons in the hippocampus is stimulated by enriched environments and by learning experiences. But do these new cells function normally? Do they support learning? And do these new neurons survive? Some animal observations indicate that new neurons in the hippocampus only live about one month.