1. Loftus, Sheree L. PhD, MSN, GNP-BC, CRRN
  2. Issue Editor

Article Content

The aging brain was once dismissed as unreachable, unteachable, unchangeable, and unable to heal. As the brain ages, it may be subject to destruction, disease, injury, and loss, but with the experiences of life, the brain gains wisdom and problem-solving skills. Neuroplasticity is the ability of the brain to reorganize and repair throughout a lifetime by forming new neural connections. It is the ability of the central nervous system to adapt and change in response to the environment, life experience, behavior, injury, or disease. This resilience has recently been confirmed, as historically the brain was considered a "closed black box" with no chance of recovery after being damaged. Neuroplasticity is a healing process. This information is essential for anyone who is aging or works with the aged. Health care professionals must be aware of the following terms for their practice: neurogenesis, which indicates neurons are generated from stem and progenitor cells that may occur lifelong in humans; angiogenesis, or the growth of new blood vessels from old blood vessels; synaptogenesis, it is the formation of synapses between neurons in the nervous system occurring throughout a healthy life; and neuroprotection, which is the preservation of neurons and their function in the face of adverse events (insults, aging). The articles in this issue reflect recent knowledge and expand the concept of neuroplasticity in a variety of health conditions. Neuroplasticity is as exciting for brain health as the frontier of space with limitless possibilities. We now know that there is potential for brain reorganization and repair. One element that may be essential for brain repair is consistent, focused, engaged, mindful activity. There may be many possibilities for brain recovery; enriched and novel exercise does foster healing. The articles in this publication will provide insight and an opportunity to review clinical research and read translational research work.


-Sheree L. Loftus, PhD, MSN, GNP-BC, CRRN


Issue Editor


Nurse Scientist, Beth Israel Neurology


New York


Adjunct Professor, Nurse Practitioner Program


Hunter-Bellevue Graduate School of Nursing


New York