Scientists Can Generate New Neurons In The Brain

Scientists have discovered how to generate new neurons in the adult brain. Neurons are nerve cells that send messages all over your body to allow you to do everything from thinking to walking, eating talking and breathing. Till now, most neuroscientists thought we were born with all the neurons we were ever going to have.

This is an incredible breakthrough that can revolutionize research for neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's and can lead to new treatments. A team of biologists has recently discovered how to awaken neural stem cells and reactivate them in adult mice. Some areas of the adult brain contain dormant neural stem cells that can be reactivated to form new neurons. 

However, the transition from dormant to proliferation is still poorly understood. A team led by scientists from the universities of Lausanne and Geneva has discovered the importance of cell metabolism in this process. The team identified how to wake up these neural stem cells and reactivate them. Biologists succeeded in increasing the number of new neurons in the brains of adult and even elderly mice. 

Stem cells have the unique ability to continuously replicate and produce differentiated cells with more specialized functions. During embryonic development stem cells are responsible for building the brain, producing all cells of the central nervous system including neurons. Strangely, neural stem cells exist in certain brain regions even after the brain is fully formed and can make new neurons throughout life. This phenomenon of making new neurons called neurogenesis is important for certain functions such as memory processing and learning. 

Neurogenesis decreases significantly with age because, in the adult brain, these stem cells become more dormant and reduce the capacity for differentiation and renewal. Biologists have discovered a metabolic mechanism by which neural stem cells can come out from their dormant state and become active. 

Post a Comment