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Thread: Brain/ alchohol

  1. #1 Brain/ alchohol 
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    Okay, say someone would be an alcoholic, and destroys alot of brain cells. How long would it take for the brain to regenerate cells?

    Also can medicine such as methylphenidate, in controlled doses, speed nuerogenesis up?

    And i heard OMEGA-3 fatty acids may help this.


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  3. #2  
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    Drinking alcohol does not kill off brain cells. How do we know?

    We count how many brain cells there are in the average person. Then we count the number of brain cells in people that die from alcoholism. The difference? Well within the sampling error.

    As stated in the neuroscience literature, "Read my lips. No new brain cells"

    Studies in adults do not show new neurons.


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    Not quite true. While brain cell regeneration is slow and limited, it does happen.
    http://www.brainlightning.com/regen.html

    Alcohol in moderate doses may even help this process.
    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0504/S00295.htm
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    The articles you present are from 1999 and 2000. The studies with BrdU were highly contested. The 2000 study was done external to an organism. The study does not show that it did happen in a brain.

    BrdU issues:
    1. Existence of BrdU does not necessarily imply new cells
    2. There claims of migration rates are very high
    3. Data suggests other observations never seen before

    I suggest you look at this study: Cell Proliferation Without Neurogenesis in Adult Primate Neocortex, David R. Kornack, Pasko Rakic, Science 2001
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    I looked up the article on the alcohol issue. I also found the abstract at:

    http://journals.cambridge.org/

    Moderate ethanol consumption increases hippocampal cell proliferation and neurogenesis in the adult mouse by Elin ┼berg, Christoph P. Hofstetter, Lars Olson and Stefan BrenÚ

    What I was unable to determine from these sources was anything other than this was a BrdU study involving mice.
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  7. #6  
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    Here is the vital information I found in one of the site and its called, Brain Cell Regeneration Studies and which get my interest;

    1. Conventional medical wisdom has held that people are born with all of the brain cells they will ever have, and once they are gone, they are permanently gone.
    2. Now, however, scientists have found that cells in the region of the brain responsible for memory and learning are capable of being regenerated.

    Regarding on the Omega-3, based on what I've read that omega-3 fatty acids up regulate adult neurogenesis. Although i still on reading if this is really helps...
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    The problem here is that it is not easy to verify that there are new neurons.

    This is not a decided issue. One of the first reports of new brain cells was a researcher in songbirds. They claimed new neurons, but in fact only measured brain volumes. The researcher made the incorrect conclusion that brain size is proportional to numbers of neurons.

    Later researchers have tried to show that new cells appear in the brain. The brain is full of cells that are not neurons. They even look a lot like neurons. Are the cells neurons or not?

    Even if the cells are new neurons are they in fact functional neurons? If these are neurons do they become part of the brain?

    These problems are hard to figure out. That is why there is so much debate about what is happening. You have to realize that less than 20 years ago the first good estimates of the numbers of neurons in the human brain were worked out. The first unbiased cell counting method was developed in 1984. Unfortunately, many studies today are flawed by:
    1. Use of old and unreliable (biased) methods
    2. Improperly thinking that volumes imply numbers
    3. Improper implementations of correct methods
    4. Using chemistry to imply structural issues
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  9. #8  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope skeptic's Avatar
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    I think you will find that modern thinking is clear cut that new neurons do appear in the brain.
    http://www.abacon.com/pinel/hot_sept.html
    http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/exchange/node/1827

    There are even drugs being developed to stimulate neurogenesis.
    http://www.technologyreview.com/biotech/20845/
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    The articles suggest a marker for dividing cells that might also be found in cells that are not dividing, but rather repairing. The articles state that the cells may or may not be functional - years of experimentation required.

    So what these new findings suggest is that neurogenesis may be possible, but if these neurons are functional is unclear.

    I would suggest that if neurogenesis were so obvious it would not have taken years to detect it. Furthermore, the clarity of the issue has been clouded by mistakes along the way.

    With the difficulty of this type of research I am not ready to make this a definite isue, but it certainly appears to be credible.
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