• Question: How do we lose brain cells?

    Asked by ells8 to Kate, Mark U, Tess, Yue, David, Jonathan, Pete, Sam on 15 May 2012. This question was also asked by ez3t1524.
    • Photo: Tess Newman

      Tess Newman answered on 15 May 2012:

      Hey ells8

      There are many ways you can lose brain cells – some natural and some artificial. Most estimates say we have about 100 billion brain cells, so you don’t have to worry too much about losing them all!

      You will naturally lose some brain cells as they age – same as you lose skin cells – and these get replaced without any problems. Things like sharp knocks to the head however are more serious, and can also affect how well your brain heals after the damage. This is why you need to wear helmets and head protection. Brain injuries can affect how you move, how you speak, or even your personality. Scary

      Quite a lot of artificial things that were thought to kill brain cells – such as alcohol and drugs – may only affect their growth. So over time, if you drank excessively, the area of the brain affects would have less cells, but the alcohol hasn’t ‘killed’ them. Either way, not good