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You can grow new brain cells. Here's how

Sandrine Thuret | 11:07


 Can we as adults grow new nerve cells? There's still some confusion about that question as this is a fairly new field of research. For example, I was talking to one of my colleague Robert, who is an oncologist, and he was telling me, sa, this is puzzling some of my patient that have been told they cured over cancer, still develop symptom of.

and I responded to him well, from my point of view, that makes sense. The drug you give to your patients, that stops the cancer cells multiplying, also stop the newborn neurons being generated in their brain. And then Robert looked at me like I was crazy and said, but Sandra Visa, adult patients, adult do not grow new neuro cells.

And much to surprise, I say, well actually we. , and this is a phenomenon that we call neurogenesis. So now Robert is not a neuroscientist and when he went to medical school, he was not taught what we know now that the adult brain can generate new nerve cells. So Robert, you know, being a good doctor is wanted to come to my lab to understand a little bit.

The topic and I took him for two of, one of the most exciting part of the brain when it come to Neurogen, and this is hippocampus. So this is this gray structure in the center of the brain. And what we know since already very long is that this is important for learning and memory and mood and emotion.

However, what we have learned more recently is that this is one of the unique structure of the adult brain where new neurons can be generated, and if we slice through the hippocampus and zoom in, what you actually see here in blue is a new born neuron in an adult mouse brain. So when it come. Human brain.

My colleague  from the Kaska Institute has estimated that we produce 700 new neurons per day in hippocampus. So you might think this is not much according to the billions of neurons we have, but by the time we will turn 50, we will have all exchange the neuron we were born with in that structure with adult borne neuron.

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