CHANGING BRAIN

For a long time, neuroscientists thought that human brain had born with a certain quantity of neurons for a lifetime, with a life cycle that didn’t have the ability to generate new.

Today, thanks to the Evidence Based Medicine (EBM), there are sufficient data gathered to accept that adult neurogenesis occur. (Eriksson et.al.,1998); in addition, they can regenerate and readapt to brain changes. This ability is known as neural plasticity.

The brain reorganizes itself by forming new neural connections throughout life. Neuroplasticity allows the neurons (nerve cells) in the brain to compensate for injury and disease and to adjust their activities in response to new situations or alterations in their environment.

If the brain suffers injury or disease, there are widespread biochemicals, anatomical and physiological changes that result in what might be considered a new, very different brain. This adapted brain is forced to reacquire behaviors lost as a result of the injury or disease and relies on neural plasticity within the residual neural circuits. The same fundamental neural and behavioral signals driving plasticity during learning in the intact brain are engaged during relearning in the damaged/diseased brain. KLEIM, J.A. (2011). Neural plasticity and neurorehabilitation: teaching the new brain old tricks. [Online] PubMed [Sept-Oct. 44(5)], p521-8, 30th, April.

Available from:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21600589

[Accessed: 2nd, February 2016]

Kheirbek, M. & Hen, R. (2013), reveal how through the technique of carbon 14 ( 14 C), it can confirm that neurogenesis occurs in brain specific areas; in fact their study is of great importance because it gives the possibility to discover what is the contribution to human behavior and mental health.

On the other hand, these findings support the importance of investigating the therapeutic potential of harnessing adult neurogenesis for the treatment of age-related cognitive disorders. Santarelli et al., (2003), refers that neurogenesis has been implicated in the behavioral effects of antidepressants and memory generalization in anxiety disorders (Kheirbek et al., 2012). Actually it can be investigated in humans with confidence. KHEIRBEK, M. & HEN, R.(2013).(Radio)active Neurogenesis in the Human Hippocampus. [Online]Cell. Volume 153 (Issue 6), p.1183-1184, 6th June.

Available from:

http://www.cell.com/cell/fulltext/S0092-8674(13)00639-9

[Accessed: 2nd, February 2016]

Ruth Talavera Flores

Ruth

Research Associate & IRIANS’s Representative for

the Iberian Peninsula and Mexico

IRIANS – The Neuroscience Institute

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