For centuries the human adult brain has been thought to be incapable of fundamental change. Now the discovery and growing awareness of neuroplasticity has revolutionized our understanding of the brain – and has opened the door to new treatments and potential cures for many diseases and disorders once thought incurable.
Neuroscience is past viewing the human brain as a machine, as it once did, where, if one part breaks down or doesn’t work properly; the function it performed is permanently gone, in all cases.
Indeed, in just the past few years, we’ve built on our knowledge that our brains are constantly changing their structure and function and that the adult brain is not “hard-wired” but plastic – always changing. It applies even in old age – a particularly hopeful note for an aging population like ours.