More On the Path to Brain Regeneration

As reported by The Scientist, researchers continue to work on better understanding the mechanisms by which new neurons are created in adult brains: "Not only are the new neurons connected up early, but they are showing a form of synaptic plasticity that we know is associated with learning very early on ... It's a different environment but basically [adult cells] do exactly the same thing normally a young cell would do in fetal development ... That is very interesting to show that after let's say two months, the newborn neurons could become identical to preexisting neurons. That was not known. ... he plans to investigate the molecular mechanisms that determine how young cells incorporate into old circuitry. The findings may ultimately help reveal how stem cell therapy can repair the brain. Ideally, a few new neurons will rejuvenate the system, he said. ... the idea is emerging that adaptation of old circuitry or increasing plasticity of the old circuitry can help with recovery."



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