New neurons form in old age "DiePresse.com



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"Everything has to die. Nothing can be renewed." Formulated pessimist Santiago Ramón y Cajal, a father of brain research, 1928, the thesis that the human brain does not new cells after early childhood. In the 1960s it was found that in adult rats, for example, neurogenesis occurs, that is, in the hippocampus, where memory is located. But the belief that this is not the case with humans lasted until the nineties. And she made a comeback a year ago, when researchers around Shawn Sorrells (San Francisco) in nature (555, p377) reported that the formation of neurons in the hippocampus in humans after only one year of life falls at an "undetectable level."

Spanish neurologists around María Llorens-Martín now contradict themselves natural medicine (25. 3). They examined tissue samples from 58 newly deceased – and found that although neurogenesis in the hippocampus declines slightly throughout life, it continues until the ninth decade of life. In their publication, they emphasize that the treatment of the samples was "state of the art," they might also have shown how inadequate treatment of the sample interfered with the detection of new neurons – a significant blow to competitors.

In Alzheimer's, however, they write, the number of newly formed neurons shrinks as the disease progresses. This supports the view that Alzheimer's disease differs significantly from normal aging. (Tk)

("Die Presse", printed edition, 26.03.2019)

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