neurogenesis - NewSci Feb 12 2000

Bill Skaggs skaggs at bns.pitt.edu
Wed Feb 23 10:47:05 EST 2000

Ian McLeod <ian_mcleod at primus.com.au> writes:
> Did anyone read the New Scientist article, dated 12 February 2000?
> Studies on rats and some other animals have shown that the regrowth of
> neurons in the hippocampus is possible, perhaps in other regions such as
> the cortex.

The "other animals" now include primates.

> This sounds amazing to me..  Too amazing..  In a past issue - New
> Scientist also reported that Prozac had been demonstrated to assist the
> growth of new neurons in the hippocampus (an area apparantly damaged by
> depression).

As Dag Stenburg says, it has been definitely established.  Still, we
shouldn't make *too* much of it.  As far as I know, there are only two
kinds of nerve cells that have been shown to reproduce in the adult
mammalian nervous system -- granule cells in the hippocampus and
olfactory receptor cells in the nose.  Most likely few, if any, others
will be discovered, because it isn't actually all that difficult to
tell whether dividing neurons are present in a region, and many
studies of this kind have been done using rodents.  Thus, the rule is
still that neurons in the adult nervous system don't reproduce -- we
just know now that there are a couple of curious exceptions to the

	-- Bill

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