During my years in medical school, repeatedly, my professor said that the brain cannot regenerate itself, that we were given certain number of brain cells at birth, and if they were damaged or destroyed, they could not be replaced.  Intuitively, and in my gut I felt that this information was incorrect.  So I rejected that thought.  I knew somehow the brain, as all other cells in our body have the ability to regenerate.

That was conventional wisdom, without any scientific “evidence,” that was accepted for many years, throughout the 20th century.

In fact, in 1928, Santiago Ramon Y Cajal, said, in Degeneration and Regeneration of the Nervous System,  “In adult centers the nerve paths re something fixed, ended, immutable.  Everything may die, nothing may be regenerated.”However, in 1988, the journal Nature Medicine, published a study that indicated the brains ability to grow new cells, also known as neurogenesis, does in fact happen in humans.

Sharon Begley, noted in her book, Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain, “the discovery overturned generations of conventional wisdom in neuroscience.  The human brain is not limited to the neurons it is born with, or even the neurons that feel and after the explosion of brain development in early childhood.”

Medical researchers have learned that within each of our brains, there is a population of stem cells that are continuously rejuvenated replenished and can develop into brain cells.  Simply stated, all of us are experiencing brain stem cells therapy throughout the course of our entire lifetime.

New brain cell development is controlled by our DNA.  A particular gene codes for the creation of a protein, known as brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF).  It plays a key role in the development of new brain cells.  Research studies have shown that decreased BDNF levels occur in patients with a variety of nervous system conditions, including depression, schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Interestingly, and fortunately, many of the factors that influence our DNA to create the BDNF factors are  under our direct control.  In fact, the gene that turns this chemical on is stimulated and activated by a variety of factors, including exercise, limiting calories, curcumin, and DHA, the omega-3 fatty acid.

Do you understand how powerful this message is?  You have these factors, within your grasp, and represent the choices you can make to turn on a gene for new brain cell development!  In other words, you can treat yourself to stem cell therapy by taking control of your genes!

In my next post, I will share with you a few practical and simple steps to help create new brain cells!