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Stop Brain Cell Death
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"You shall come to the grave at a full age, as a sheaf of grain ripens in its season" (Job 5:26).

Beginning shortly after birth, when the number of brain cells that we possess are probably at their maximum, those cells begin to die at a frightening rate—perhaps as many as 50,000 per day! Multiply that by the number of days you have lived and you get some staggering figures. That’s about 18,250,000 cells every year!

In spite of this brain drain, brain performance in healthy people does not significantly change over a 50-year period. For some, performance actually improves even into the mid-70s and older.

The principle of redundancy holds that we have so many more brain cells than we could possibly use that we can afford to lose a tremendous number. The principle “use it or lose it” may be directing this massive extermination of brain cells. Is it possible that we are not providing our brains with the enrichment of fascinating opportunities that our brains are capable of handling?


In spite of this death of brain cells, undamaged brain cells in the elderly can grow more dendrites, providing more communication sites. That is the principle of plasticity. Those fewer brain cells are more active and search out new connections if they are called upon to perform, even in advancing years. The more experience, learning, and practice, the greater the number of connections.

Decreases in memory span and in the ability to process information rapidly and to integrate incoming information become frightening or discouraging  to many who are aging. But you can be encouraged: recent studies show that even the physical loss or deterioration of thousands of brain cells does not necessarily reduce the functioning potential of an aging person. It may take a little longer to process some tasks, but the lack of speed can be more than offset by the wisdom born of experience.

It is also possible that most of these “losses” in function can be halted or even reversed by use. For maximum brain health, exercise all your different thinking centers—logical thinking, analytical problem solving, artistic expression, creative thinking, memorization, sensory stimulation, language and motor skills.

The plasticity of the brain can continue even into the oldest years, but you’ve got to use it, if you don’t want to lose it!

Dear God, thank You for creating me with enough brain cells for eternity. Help me to use them so I won’t lose them.

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By Elden M. Chalmers. Excerpted from Fit Forever, compiled by Kay Kuzma, copyright © 2005 by Review & Herald Publishing. Copyright © 2007 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW KING JAMES VERSION © 1982.

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