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Canary Courtship The Story of Neurogenesis. with Susan Wehry, M.D. . Images of Aging. Images of Aging. STOP AGING NOW!. AGE WELL NOW. The brain can’t make new cells, RIGHT?. WRONG. What’s new about being old?. Neuronal plasticity Variability Modifiability. Genesis…Neuro style.

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Canary courtship the story of neurogenesis l.jpg

Canary CourtshipThe Story of Neurogenesis

with

Susan Wehry, M.D.



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Images of Aging

STOP AGING NOW!

AGE WELL NOW



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What’s new about being old?

  • Neuronal plasticity

  • Variability

  • Modifiability



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The Songbird Story

  • Fernando Nottenbohm

  • 1980’s, Rockefeller University

  • Song center  spring

  • Hippocampus  fall


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The Songbird Skeptics

  • Restricted throughout evolution

  • New neurons would disrupt

  • No primate neurogenesis


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The Primate Story

  • Elizabeth Gould

  • Bruce McEwen

  • Hippocampus

    • Tree shrew

    • Marmoset

    • Rhesus monkey

  • Neocortex


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The Human Story

  • Fred Gage

  • Cancer patients

  • Neurogenesis

    • human hippocampus


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Do they work?

  • Enriched environments 

    • heavier brains

    •  synapses

    •  branching

    •  learning

      Even in very old mice


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Neurogenesis

  • Stimulated by

    • Enriched environments

      • toys and friends

    • Participation in learning

    • Physical exercise


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Neurogenesis

  • Inhibited by

    • Isolation

    • Stress



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The Aging Brain

  • Knowledge in transition

  • Tremendous variation

    • Within the brain

    • Between individuals


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Components

Dendrites

Cell body

Synapse

Axon


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Neurons

100,000,000,000

ONE HUNDRED BILLION


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Synapses

10,000s /neuron

104 X 1011

=

1,000,000,000,000,000


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ONE

Quadrillion


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And we lose maybe

10,000/day


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The Brain responds

  • Neurogenesis

  • Synapses reorganize

  • Dendrites sprouting


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The Human Hippocampus

  • Main relay station

    • New memory

      • Long term storage

      • Discard


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The Human Hippocampus

  • London Taxi Drivers

    • Enlarged

    • Right activated routes

  • Dementia, Alzheimer’s type

    • Smaller volume


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The Aging Brain

  • Decrease in brain weight

    • Plasticity >  Neurons

  • Function

    • Less efficient

    • Slower rate

    • No change in total learning

  • Modifiable


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Successful Aging

  • MacArthur Foundation

    • Genetic factors < 50%

    • Education strongest predictor

  • Health

    • Physical/mental

  • Optimism/Self-efficacy

  • Social support



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Barriers to successful aging

As we age, our expectations change:

  • we demand less and less of our brains

  • we link our absentmindedness to age

  • we accept ageist stereotypes


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Remove the Barriers

  • Alter expectations

  • Develop a strategy


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Take Stock

  • Illness inventory

  • Health inventory

  • Stress inventory


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Change Behavior

  • Make a pledge

  • Identify goal

  • Visualize undertaking


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Change Behavior

  • Plan for success

  • Set up a routine

  • Engage a partner

  • Get started


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EXERCISE

BODY

BRAIN


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PRACTICE

Remembering

Thinking

Problem-solving


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Strategies

  • Maintain health

    • Physical

    • Mental

  • Stay connected

  • Active life style

  • Nutrition

  • Enrich environment


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You heard it here!

  • Use it or lose it

    “That which is used develops,

    that which is not used,

    wastes away”

    (Hippocrates 460-337 B.C.)


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You heard it here!

  • Story of neurogenesis

  • Knowledge

    • aging human brain

    • successful aging

  • Strategies


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You heard it here!

  • Alter expectation

  • Remember mama

  • Stay connected


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To learn more or just to stay in touch

Please visit my website

www.susanwehrymd.com


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