Make my brain more plastic fantastic please

In the 1967 film “The Graduate,” Mr. McGuire offers one word of advice to
Dustin Hoffman’s character, Benjamin Braddock: “Plastics”

Now-a-days, one can hardly tune into a PBS television channel without running into what is primaily an infomercial about exercising your brain in a brain gym.

The show, interestingly, explains the concept of brain plasticity, essentially the changes that occur in the organization of the brain as a result of experience.

We used to believe that once you achieved adulthood, large portions of your brain were set forever and that when portions were lost due to an accident, aging or abundant cheap vodka, these portions and their functions were irretrievably lost. Brain plasticity says, “uh-uh we have seen different functions move to different parts of the brain depending on environmental effects.”

The idea behind brain exercise is that you can keep your brain more plastic (able to change and adapt) by lifting mental dumbbells.

And now, a new article published in BMC Neuroscience seems to claim that injecting human umbilical cord  blood intravenously can actually increase neurogenesis in the brain.

This means an adult brain could begin acting like a growing brain once again. The first tests have been conducted on aging rats.  Rejuvenating an aging rats brain and making note of a change in behavior must have been a thrilling assignment (Wow! My rat has stopped playing dominoes and is hitting on the females again!).

A Google search of “umbilical cord blood” comes up with no less than 7 sponsored links touting the benefits of banking your newborns umbilical cord blood for later use. You can even get a kit for the collection of menstrual blood stem cells (did you ever imagine there was value there?). And special combo-packages can save you hundreds of dollars.

Who could have imagined that the fountain of youth and the birth canal could have been one and the same?


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