The GLP is committed to full transparency. Download and review our just-released 2019 Annual Report.

What your neural stem cells aren’t telling you

| | August 22, 2012

In 2000, a team of neuroscientists put an unusual idea to the test. Stress and depression, they knew, made neurons wither and die – particularly in the hippocampus, a brain area crucial for memory. So the researchers put some stressed-out rats on an antidepressant regimen, hoping the mood boost might protect some of those hippocampal neurons. When they checked in a few weeks later, though, the team found that rats’ hippocampuses hadn’t just survived intact; they’d grown whole new neurons – bundles of them. But that’s only the beginning of our tale.

By the time 2009 rolled around, another team of researchers was suggesting that human brains might get a similar hippocampal boost from antidepressants. The press announced the discovery with headlines like, “Antidepressants Grow New Brain Cells” – although not everyone agreed with that conclusion. Still, whether the principle applied to humans or not, a far more basic question was begging to be answered: How, exactly, does a brain tell new cells to form?

View the original article here: What Your Neural Stem Cells Aren’t Telling You – Scientific American (blog)

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Click the link above to read the full, original article.
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.

Send this to a friend