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Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) was the first neurotrophin discovered, almost 50 years ago, at Washington University in St. Louis. It was found to not only keep certain types of nerve cells alive but cause them to sprout new branches. (Katz, Lawrence C., PhD and Manning Rubin. Keep Your Brain Alive. p 141. NY: Workman Publishing Company, Inc., 1999.

Neurotrophins are an important set of molecules, brain food, that stimulate active neuron terminals to sprout new synaptic connections. Only those cells that compete successfully for neurotrophins (those that are active) survive. (LeDoux, Joseph.Synaptic Self, How Our Brains Become Who We Are. p 81-82. Penguin Books 2002.)

Natural brain nutrients produced by nerve cells that can increase size and complexity of dendrites…the amount produced, and response to neurotrophins made by other nerve cells, is regulated by how active the nerve cells are. (Katz, Lawrence C., PhD and Manning Rubin. Keep Your Brain Alive. p 4, 7. NY: Workman Publishing Company, Inc., 1999.)