There have been many studies made based on this idea that the aging brain is no longer able to learn new things. For instance, how many seniors do you know who are using a computer, for instance, or who know how to use their mobile phone for anything else than answering it? Not too many, are there?
The most recent study made on rats’ brains, which are the closest in pattern to the human brain, showed that the old brain is no longer able to learn new tricks due to the fact that throughout time, it is exposed to huge amounts of stress. Stress is widely known for its ability to shrink and lose synapses, which are the nerves which make the communication possible between the nerve cells. Once the stressful period ends, however, the synapses are able to recover and become function again.
Stress Has a Lot to Do with the Inability of Learning
In the study, the researchers involved exposed the brain of middle aged rats to a stressor which is widely known for altering the nerve cells in the prefrontal cortex. It seems that the middle aged rats could no longer learn new things as well as they used to when they were younger, as the nerves cells called spines were no longer able to improve themselves after a stressful period.
According to the researchers, this is the main reason for which old age usually leaves people in an inability of learning new things and it can lead to cognitive decline.
Cognitive Decline Happens Due to Stress
Given that the above mentioned spines were no longer able to improve after a stressful period in the brain of older rats, it seems that this is the main reason for which the brain is going straight to a cognitive decline. From what the researchers involved in the study said, it seems that this particular study shows some insight into the changes which may occur in the brain for people who suffer from the Alzheimer’s disease.
Alzheimer’s disease is one of the most horrible conditions nowadays and there are more and more people who suffer from it. it seems that the main reason for which the degeneration of the brain cells occur is due to the fact that the brain goes through extended periods of high stress, which lead to a change in the brain circuits, leaving the brain unable to function properly.
This is the main reason for which old people are less able to learn new tricks. Some of them may not want to, but most old people are unable to learn new things, because their brain is no longer functioning as it did when they were younger. When people are of a younger age, their brain is able to recover rapidly from the periods in which it was exposed to large amounts of stress. On the other hand, as we get older, we are no longer as able to recover and the brain is left damaged for good.