Healing the Brain and Nerve Damage
For decades scientists believed that once we reached adulthood we had a fixed number of brain cells. These cells could not be replaced if damaged or destroyed. That meant if part of the brain was damaged from a concussion or a stroke, the cognitive functions performed by that area of the brain were permanently lost. It also meant they believed that as brain cells were lost through again, brain function was doomed to deteriorate. Healing the brain and nerve damage is possible.
With advanced techniques into brain research, we now know that is not true. First, like every other type of cell, brain cells can divide to create new brain cells. This process, known as neurogenesis, means that over your lifetime old nerve cells are replaced with new ones. In fact, by the time you are 50, all the neurons in your hippocampus, the brains’ memory center, will have been replaced. Which begs an interesting question, “How are memories actually stored?”
It’s also been discovered that if one part of the brain is damaged, other areas can take over the function previously performed by the damaged area. Nerve cells link to other nerves cells via branches calle axons. When an axon is damaged or severed, a nerve call can grow new axonal branches and form new connections with undamaged nerve cells. This creates new pathways to take over lost functions. This is known as neuroplasticity.
Neurogenesis and Neuroplasticity opens a window of hope for everyone who has problems with their brain and nervous system. Learn more in this month’s Sunshine Sharing about mending the mind, brain injury and inflammation, concussion and what you can do about it.
Supplements for Support
My favorite NSP supplements for reducing brain inflammation are curcumin, green tea, alpha lipoic acid and ginkgo biloba. Supplements that aid neurogenesis include omega 3 fatty acids and DHA. My favorite supplement to aid neuroplasticity is gotu kola or Mind Max. I take gotu kola every day myself to support a healthy nervous system! Omega 3 fatty acids and DHA have been studied and shown to help reduce inflammation throughout the body and promote healthy aging. Omega 3’s also help our gut stay healthy.