What kills stem cells?
The brain is arguably the most complex and amazing machine. Aside from being plastic (the ability to adjust and adapt), the brain also has the ability to mend itself.
Stem Cells are responsible for maintaining the cognitive functioning. Stem cells produce brand new cells. These new cells allow the brain to stay active and functional.
It was thought that stem cells only develop during infancy. Only recently, scientists found that this type of cells continues to develop in the brain throughout a lifespan.
However, stem cells can be easily affected by the substances we consume.
For instance, a new study found that alcohol kills stem cells in the brain. This negative effect is more evident among women.
It means that women are more vulnerable to alcohol effect. Continues alcohol intake will ultimately lead to neurodegeneration.
The study used mice as subjects.
The researchers found that consistent alcohol consumption damaged significant parts of the brain.
Professor Ping Wu, the lead researcher concluded that:
“The discovery that the adult brain produces stem cells that create new nerve cells provides a new way of approaching the problem of alcohol-related changes in the brain.
However, before the new approaches can be developed, we need to understand how alcohol impacts the brain stem cells at different stages in their growth, in different brain regions and in the brains of both males and females.”
What is shocking in the result is, those brain regions that are heavily affected by alcohol are the regions that produce new brain cells.
In other words, chronic alcohol consumption hinders the brain’s capability to renew itself. This will result in neurodegeneration. And when this happens, the brain will not be able to function efficiently.
This study is another evidence that shows the negative impact of alcohol not only on the lower part of the body but also on the brain.
So next time you think of drinking alcohol, think about your brain.
I’m a licensed psychometrician, author, and blogger. I’m currently working as a University instructor teaching psychology. I love writing and doing psychological research.