Stained tissue from a year-old human hippocampus shows a single young neuron green , surrounded by mature neurons red and cell nuclei blue. Researchers studying postmortem brain tissue of humans found evidence of neural precursor cells and immature neurons in fetuses, infants, and teenagers, but not in adults over 18 years of age. The findings, published today March 7 in Nature , contradict two decades of research showing that human adult hippocampi—epicenters of learning and memory in the brain—generate new neurons and raise questions about how scientists study neurogenesis. Much of the work on neurogenesis has been done in animals. In the latest study, Shawn Sorrells and Mercedes Paredes of the University of California, San Francisco, and their colleagues wanted to search for evidence of neurogenesis in human brains and test a different technique compared with what had been used in the past.
Divisive new study suggests adult human brains do not produce new neurons
Adult brains don’t grow new neurons in hippocampus, study suggests | Science News
Curator: Fred H. Eugene M. Sebastian Jessberger. James B.
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DNA methylation signature of human hippocampus in Alzheimer’s disease is linked to neurogenesis
New neurons are continuously generated in specific regions in the adult brain. Studies in rodents have demonstrated that adult-born neurons have specific functional features and mediate neural plasticity. Data on the extent and dynamics of adult neurogenesis in adult humans are starting to emerge, and there are clear similarities and differences compared to other mammals.
Conventional wisdom has long suggested that we cannot grow new brain cells; that we are born with all of the brain cells we will ever have and that once those gray cells expire, they're gone for good. This belief was fueled, in part, by the fact that certain motor movement and cognitive thought functions tend to decline the older we get. But should this suggest that it's all downhill once we approach a certain age and that we have no choice but to wait for the inevitable decline? While the vast majority of our brain's cells are formed while we are in the womb , there are certain parts of the brain that continue to create new neural cells during infancy. However, research done over the last two decades has suggested that at least one part of the brain continues to create new cells throughout a person's lifespan.