611 W. Union Street
Benson, AZ 85602
(520) 586-0800

Health Choice Integrated Care crisis Line

AzCH Nurse Assist Line


611 W. Union Street
Benson, AZ 85602
(520) 586-0800

AzCH Nurse Assist Line


powered by centersite dot net

Getting Started
Here are some forms to get started. These can be printed and brought with you so that you can pre-fill out some known info ahead of time. More...

Health Sciences
Basic InformationLatest News
'Miracle' Young Blood Infusion Treatments Unproven, Potentially Harmful: FDAPossible Parkinson's 'Pandemic' Looms: ReportScience Puzzling Out Differences in Gut Bacteria Around the World'Mind-Reading' AI Turns Thoughts Into Spoken WordsEat What You Want and Still Stay Slim? Thank Your GenesGood News, Bad News on Levodopa for Parkinson's DiseaseNature or Nurture? Twins Study Helps Sort Out Genes' Role in DiseaseBeing Bullied May Alter the Teen BrainFDA Warns Companies on Dangerous, Unapproved Stem Cell TreatmentsGene Tweaking Prevented Obesity in MiceApproach That New Gene Testing Kit With CautionResearch on Almost 2,000 Brains Brings Insight Into Mental IllnessRestoring Hair Growth on Scarred Skin? Mouse Study Could Show the WayParkinson's Gene Therapy Wires New Brain CircuitsNext for Disabling Back Pain? New Discs From Patients' Own CellsSkin 'Glow' Test Might Someday Spot Disease Risk EarlyComputer-Brain Link Helps 'Locked In' People Chat, Surf WebCould a Natural Protein Help Fight Obesity?Blood Test May One Day Help Track Concussion RecoveryThe Bigger the Brain, the Bigger the Tumor Risk?Gene Therapy for Parkinson's Symptoms Shows PromiseCould Same-Sex Couples Have Babies With Shared DNA? Study Hints It's PossibleMany Americans Curious, But Wary, About Gene TestingAHA: New Report Explores Genes Behind Congenital Heart DiseaseScientists Find 500 More Genes That Influence Blood PressureALS Affects the Mind, Not Just the BodyScientists Finally Get Around to Finding Procrastination's Home in the BrainGene 'Editing' in Dog Study Shows Promise for Kids With Muscular DystrophyGut Enzyme Could Help Solve U.S. Blood Shortages'Fat' Mouse Test Failure Yields New Obesity ClueIs Evolution of the Human Brain to Blame for Some Mental Disorders?Scientists Trace Link Between Head Injuries and Parkinson'sAHA: Scientists May Have Cleared Gene Therapy HurdleAlmost 1,300 Genes Seem Tied to Academic SuccessBrains May Be as Unique as Fingerprints'Heading' Soccer Balls May Be Bad for BalanceScientists Target Cellular 'Fountain of Youth' to Extend Mouse Life SpanThose At-Home DNA Tests Are an Imperfect ScienceScientists Spot Gene Linking Down Syndrome, Early Alzheimer'sMassive Study Finds Same Genes Drive Many Psychiatric ConditionsThyroid Cancer Survivors at Risk for Heart DiseaseBetter Diet, Bigger Brain?Primary Care Providers Have Mixed Views on Genetic TestsFDA Targets Clinics Offering Unapproved Stem Cell TherapiesRestless Legs Linked to Brain ChangesContact Sports May Alter the Brain, Scans SuggestJust One Concussion Could Raise Parkinson's RiskLove Your Hair Color? You Have Over 100 Genes to Thank.Too Much Sitting Could Raise Brain RisksBusting Myths Surrounding Cancer and Genetic Testing
Questions and AnswersLinksBook Reviews
Related Topics

Medical Disorders
Mental Disorders
Mental Health Professions

Older Brains Replenish Cells Just Like Young Brains: Study

HealthDay News
by By Amy Norton
HealthDay Reporter
Updated: Apr 5th 2018

new article illustration

THURSDAY, April 5, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Contrary to popular thought, older adults' brains can churn out just as many new cells as younger brains do, a new study suggests.

Using autopsied brain tissue, researchers found that healthy older adults had the same capacity to create new cells in the brain's hippocampus region as young adults did.

The hippocampus is involved in regulating memory and emotions, and it typically shrinks in people with Alzheimer's disease, according to the Alzheimer's Association.

The new findings give a snapshot of the healthy aging brain -- and it's a "positive" one, the researchers said.

In general, old and young brains were capable of making the same number of new neurons from more primitive "progenitor" cells in the hippocampus.

"It's good news that these cells are there in older adults' brains," said lead researcher Dr. Maura Boldrini, an associate professor at Columbia University in New York City.

That's not to say that the brain of a healthy 79-year-old looks exactly like the brain of a healthy 29-year-old.

For example, the investigators found that older adults' brains had less "angiogenesis" -- or new blood vessel growth.

So it's not clear whether the new brain cells would have the same connections, or function the same as younger adult brain cells do, noted Dr. Ezriel Kornel. He is an assistant clinical professor of neurosurgery at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City.

But Kornel, who was not involved in the study, said the findings offer a "hopeful" message.

"Even as we age," he said, "we still have the capability of producing new neurons."

More research is needed to understand what factors can help "stimulate" greater neuron production or better connectivity in older brains, Kornel added.

Lab research has found that in aging rodents and non-human primates, the hippocampus loses its ability to churn out new cells. But studies of the human brain have come to conflicting conclusions.

That's partly because researchers weren't always able to account for any brain diseases people might have had before death, Boldrini explained.

Her team examined autopsied brain tissue from 28 people between the ages of 14 and 79 who'd died suddenly, but had previously been healthy. None had been diagnosed with dementia, or any neurological or psychiatric disorder.

Overall, the study found, older and younger brains had similar numbers of "intermediate" progenitor cells and "immature" neurons -- signaling that older people had a similar capacity for generating new cells as young people.

There were differences, however. Besides having less angiogenesis, the older brains also had a smaller pool of progenitor cells in one area of the hippocampus.

It would be interesting, Kornel said, to see how those healthy older brains compare with those of older adults who did suffer from dementia.

Boldrini agreed, and said that's a next step. Other research, she noted, has found a decreased number of neurons in the hippocampus of people who died with Alzheimer's.

But it's not clear what causes that. "Does the brain produce fewer neurons? Or did the neurons die?" Boldrini said.

By comparing healthy older brains and dementia-affected brains, she said, researchers could gain a better understanding of why some people stay sharp well into old age, while others decline.

That might lead to new treatments for dementia, Boldrini said -- if research can uncover some of the molecular mechanisms that support neuron production and survival in older brains.

Plus, she added, it's important to figure out whether older adults who maintain a youthful-looking hippocampus did something "right" over their lifetime -- whether that's diet, regular exercise or meditation.

A number of studies have linked lifestyle factors to the risk of Alzheimer's and other types of dementia, according to the Alzheimer's Association.

That suggests that the same habits that keep the heart healthy help the brain, too: not smoking, maintaining a normal weight and blood pressure, eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Staying socially engaged and intellectually stimulated -- by taking a class or learning new skills, for example -- might also help.

Other research suggests that exercise can stimulate neuron production in the hippocampus, Boldrini said.

The study was published online April 5 in the journal Cell Stem Cell.

More information

The Alzheimer's Association has advice on healthy brain aging.