The brain can take over functions of injured parts of the brain. It can create new neural pathways and even make new brain cells, contrary to what scientists used to think.
"The brain is like the body – the more we exercise, the better it works," said Espen Dietrichs, a neurology professor, brain researcher and writer, in a lecture on how flexible the brain is. He spoke recently at an evening event in Oslo organized by the Norway’s national association for heart and lung disorders (LHL) and LHL Hjerneslag, as part of the fourth national conference on the heart and brain.
Dietrichs’ day job is as a researcher at the University of Oslo. A number of examples from the research show just how adaptable the brain can be, he says. Although brain cells cannot divide like other cells, they can develop in other ways.