The human brain grows larger every generation, and this is a good sign for young people

The human brain weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms, and its volume can reach 1260 cubic centimeters. It is covered by a meninges that protects it from blows to the skull. Dozens of its departments are responsible for many functions, ranging from thinking and remembering information to controlling body parts. Recently, scientists conducted a study and found that the brain volume of people in the 1970s was larger than that of people in the 1930s. Most likely, this is the result of a strong change in the environment, because in the modern world people do not have any special problems with food and rest. Brain enlargement is considered good news because it improves young people's chances of aging healthy and with a clear mind.

The human brain grows larger every generation, and this is a good sign for young people. Every 10 years, the volume of people's brains increases. Image: Photo.

Every 10 years, the volume of the human brain increases. Image:

Why people's brain volume is increasing

The fact that the human brain has noticeably increased over the last century was described in the scientific journal Science Alert. This was found out in a scientific study in which scientists studied brain parameters in 3,000 people. They took into account data from men and women who were born in the 1970s and 1930s, that is, with a large age difference.

The analysis showed that people in their 70s have an average brain volume of 6.6% greater than those in their 30s. In particular, they showed greater volumes of white and gray matter. White matter in the human brain plays the role of a “conductor” of information between different parts. Gray matter in the human brain is responsible for processing information and controlling our movements. Scientists also noted that between 1930 and 1970, the volume of the hippocampus increased by 5.7% in people. This is the name of a small part of the brain that plays a key role in memory and learning.

Why people's brain volume increases. People in the 1930s had less gray matter in their brains than people today. Image: Science Alert. Photo.

For many years, scientists believed that brain volume was largely determined by genetics, according to neurologist Charles DeCarl. Their research suggests that environmental conditions may also influence this. In the 1930s, many people lacked adequate nutrition and education. Several decades later, these problems disappeared, people's lives became happier, which is why the brain began to develop more actively.

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Reducing the risk of developing dementia

Scientists believe that an increase in human brain volume is good news. In their opinion, thanks to this, people will suffer less from dementia in the future. This is the name for a set of diseases that lead to the destruction of the brain and a person’s inability to remember information, think adequately, and so on.

There are millions of people around the world today living with Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia. They have a greatly reduced volume of gray matter in the brain, but if the amount of gray matter in the brain increases with each generation, people will suffer from dementia less and less. Judging by statistics, this trend is already noticeable – the incidence of neurodegenerative diseases in the USA and Europe decreases by approximately 13% every decade.

Reducing the risk of developing dementia. The brain of a person with dementia (left) and a healthy person (right). Image: Photo.

The brain of a person with dementia (left) and a healthy person (right). Image:

Previous studies have shown that people with larger brains have a much milder course of Alzheimer's disease. This can be called strong evidence for the “brain reserve” hypothesis. According to it, the larger the brain of a man or woman, the longer he will retain the ability to remember information and think – the disease will simply destroy the brain more slowly due to its large volume.

So, in the future, people have a chance of salvation from dementia. But you shouldn’t relax, because alcohol abuse, a sedentary lifestyle and a lack of “charging” for the brain can still lead to the destruction of the structures of one of the most important organs of our body. Also, very unexpected factors have a bad effect on the brain – for example, we recently talked about how our brain is destroyed due to dirty teeth.

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Fortunately, scientists are constantly studying the human brain and finding ways to improve its abilities and even treat deadly diseases. Through numerous experiments, researchers have been able to identify odors that can improve brain function even in older people. And at the beginning of 2024, surgeons made a big breakthrough, completely curing a child of brain cancer.