Brain cell regeneration

Paul Michaelson paulm at
Fri Jan 30 18:58:36 EST 1998

Jason Dossett <spoons at> wrote:

>I was just curious if anyone has heard or seen any evidence that brain
>cells can regenerate on their own, even if it is extremely slow or so
>minute as to not make much difference.
>A friend and I debated this topic because I could have sworn that I had
>heard that someone had determined that the brain can regenerate, but after
>infancy it slows down so much as not to have any effect.  As my friend has
>B.S. in Biology and I in E.E., I eventually admitted defeat, but it still
>annoys me because I swear I heard it somewhere.
>I did read about research where transplanted cells (or part of the cells -
>forgive my ignorance on the subject) were able to regenerate in lab rats,
>but no mention of the subject I am curious about was made.
>Thanks in advance,

I think I heard that some in-vitro regeneration had been observed in rat
nerves, and elsewhere that Insulin-like Growth Factor - 1 had been found to
help nerve regeneration.  (But IGF-1 also can lead to postrate cancer.)

There was also some work by John's Hopkins University researchers along with
people from Gifford Research (I think) who were developing a medicine that
leads to nerve repair or regeneration or replacement.  Gifford was bought by
Amgen since then so we may hear more from them.  Something was said to be due
in about five years, maybe a FDA approved product, but I don't know how far
they'll really be with it by then.

Also, see for info on The Myelin Project about nerve repair.
This is the group from the effort featured in the movie Lorenzo's Oil.

I have multiple sclerosis so am interested in this topic.

Take care.

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