Does my brain continue to change when I'm an adult?

Kelly Traver
Internal Medicine

The brain is incredibly adaptable and fully capable of change and, in fact, changes throughout your life. We can improve on what we are good at and eventually learn to do some of the things we thought were impossible. As we learn new material and practice new behavior, changes occur both functionally and structurally within our brains.

Additional factors also influence how the brain develops and changes. Depression and stress stimulate the production of chemicals such as cortisol that can damage and sometimes even kill neurons.

Exercise and mental stimulation, on the other hand, promote the production of chemicals such as brain-derived neurotrophic growth factor (BDNF) that encourage new growth.

Your brain is capable of substantial change. At any age, you can learn, you can grow, and you can improve your skills for living a healthier and happier life.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.