Tell your doctor that you have to search harder to recall the names of distant friends or remember where you last placed your keys, and he’s likely chalk it up to ‘mild cognitive decline’ and tell you to get used to the inevitable slippery slope of ageing.
He’d be resoundingly wrong. The latest brain evidence demonstrates the astonishing likelihood that the brain is far more malleable than originally thought, with the capacity to grow new brain cells and to make new neural connections throughout your life, even in your twilight years.
In fact, scientists are now discovering that the brain can not only stay sharp, but be enhanced at any point in life. So malleable are those little grey cells that you can increase the rate at which new cells grow by three to five times—even in old age.
The question is no longer whether it’s possible to regenerate your brain, but the best way to do so, for there is a wide variation in this capacity, called ‘neurogenesis’, depending on how you live your life.