I have some wonderful news, particularly for those Boomers who “partied hardy” back in college. In fact, this news will affect all Partiers, past and present, regardless of race, sex, marital status. You will still want to know the result of this study whether you are Democrat, Republican or Anarchist. You will have new information that will change your mind and rock your world. Or is it change your underwear and rule the world? IDK, something about change is good. So, I am about to change your mind concerning one of those Factoids that we grew up believing. Nothing as bourgeois as “wait thirty minutes to swim after eating”. That old chestnut has been debunked for years. No, this one will make you sit up and say, “Would you repeat that, please? I wasn’t paying attention.”
Remember that old commercial that gave you the munchies? It was some dude breaking an egg onto a hot griddle and he was going to prepare a scrumptious sunny-side-up egg and maybe some bacon? If he added a side of pancakes, he would have totally nailed it. Anyhow, the voice-over warned that “This is your brain” (whole egg) and then “This is your brain on drugs” (show cooking video). And you were like, “What?” But all you could think about was procuring some brunch. The message was supposed to scare you and warn you that you were destroying your brain cells! Forever!! Your brain would sizzle and melt as cells were killed off, screaming in agony. And it would be all your fault, you murderer. If you didn’t stop your wicked ways you would soon have no brain cells and find yourself wandering the streets, even before it was cool to be a Zombie.
Don’t worry: this will all make sense in the end.
Yesterday, I went to this awesome seminar about how to keep your mind sharp. I really worry about that, it’s too easy to let your mind get lazy and do everything on auto-pilot. You know how sometimes you pull into the driveway and wonder how in the world you got there? And without causing an accident? Lazy Brain. Every time you walk into a room and forget why you are there? Drugs. It’s all those drugs you did way back when that snap, crackled and popped your brain cells into mush. But here is the update: THIS IS FALSE NEWS.
You do not destroy your brain cells forever. Per the Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research Foundation, the brain produces new dendrites all the time. Dendrites allow the brain to store and retrieve information. Even as we age, the brain is producing new dendrites! That’s right, folks: another Old Wives’ Tale just bit the dust. You can destroy your brain cells, but eventually they will grow back. HALLELUJAH IN A BUCKET!
So, Party On, Garth.
But there is one caveat: you must have a sufficient supply of brain cells from the start. Your brain will only replace lost cells, it won’t transform an Idiot into an Einstein.