Pre-thinking:

Can we, as adults, grow new neurons? Neuroscientist Sandrine Thuret says that we can, and she offers research and practical advice on how we can help our brains better perform neurogenesis—improving mood, increasing memory formation and preventing the decline associated with aging along the way.

 

Why you should listen:

Thuret’s work focuses on the hippocampus, the area of the brain that is related to memory, and her work asks two big questions: How can we help our healthy brains create new nerve cells throughout our lives, through diet and behavior changes? And how can we study the effects of diseases such as depression and Alzheimer’s on our brains’ ability to grow?

Who is she?:

In her lab at King’s College London, Sandrine Thuret studies adult neurogenesis — the process by which adult brains create new nerve cells. (Until the 1990s, we didn’t even know they did this!)

Discussion Questions:

  1. According to Thuret’s work why is it normal for a cured cancer patient to develop depression?
  2. What is the hippocampus important for? What has this to do with neurogenesis?
  3. Why does Thuret say that “if we want to improve memory formation or mood, or even prevent the decline associated with aging, or associated with stress”, neurogenesis is a target of choice?
  4. What does she recommend as a lifestyle for higher level of neurogenesis, memory development and retention and reduced depression?

Making the connection:

http://www.the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/44047/title/Neurogenesis-in-the-Mammalian-Brain/

http://www.bioedonline.org/news/hot-topics/adult-neurogenesis/

 

 

 

You can grow new brain cells. Here’s how with Sandrine Thuret

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