How To Effectively Increase Neurogenesis?

What is Neurogenesis?

A common myth is that the growth of new neurons in the brain, or neurogenesis, no longer occurs as an adult. This could not be more wrong. Studies in 1961 confirmed in two cases, that neurogenesis was still present in the hippocampus of both adult mice and cats [R]. Thus, we now know that that neurogenesis can occur in two locations of the adult human brain; the subventricular zone, or SVZ, as well as the hippocampus [R]. However, it is still unclear what the exact function of SVZ is in humans.

Stem cells and precursor cells (similar but more restricted compared to stem cells) play vital roles in neurogenesis as well. They act as blank slates which are able to develop into new neurons and brain cells [R].

Neurogenesis in the hippocampus can assist in various manners. The hippocampus has a key role in the learning process as well as memory, spatial navigation, and the regulation of emotion [R]. The hippocampus is also one of the first areas of the brain affected by Alzheimer’s disease. Cell loss in the hippocampus leads to confusion and memory loss in the early stages of the disease [R].

Improving neurogenesis in the hippocampus has shown positive treatment of the following neurodegenerative diseases and mental disorders: [R, R]:

  • Depression
  • Epilepsy
  • Anxiety
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Huntington’s disease

Increasing neurogenesis in the brain can also assist and help treat brain injuries related to strokes and other brain trauma [R, R].

Ways to Increase Neurogenesis

Exercise

Mental Stimulation

Better Sleep To Promote Neural Growth

Meditation

Nutrition

Diets can also play a role in neurogenesis as seen with ketogenic diets[R].

Foods rich in Omega-3s, Resveratrol and anti-oxidants also help assist in neurogenesis

Nootropics

The following nootropics can help in increasing neurogenesis:

Various other nootropic compounds have also been shown to increase BDNF, NGF and Neurogenesis with neuroprotective properties as well.

Conclusion

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