Neuroregeneration

The Milky Way galaxy contains two to six times as many stars as the brain does neurons.

Lesion studies have shed immense light on diverse neuroscientific subjects. An important topic in neuroscience is neuroregeneration, or cell repair and regrowth (neurogenesis refers to new cell growth). While the process differs between the CNS and PNS, generally in the CNS (which comprises the brain) damaged cells are doomed.

Neurodegeneration is the exact opposite, with many neurodegenerative disorders discusses in the literature (including Alzheimer’s, Multiple Sclerosis and various forms of dementia). From biology, one knows that there are internal cell mechanisms that cause it to undergo apoptosis in certain (traumatic) cases. For example, the process is triggered in auditory receptors (hair cells) in response to very loud noises. The old joke of a person going deaf after listening to too much loud music may have some background after all…

memory bear

Memory is a topic often explored in both neuroscience and psychology. Skills, such as drawing, fall under the category of implicit memory. Image: Copyright © KoalaAreAussie.blogspot.com

Fan & Fan (2006) explored the neuroregenerative process in Huntington's disease (HD). The authors attest that precursor cells may start the process. Exploring the neurogenic mechanisms in mice, they noticed that NSCs (Neural Stem Cells) exhibit enhanced self-renewal potential shortly after the onset of HD. Further, the capability is inherited by subsequent cell generations, suggesting epigenetic changes.

femmes neuro

Studies involving the neuronal correlates of emotion often point to the amygdala. Image: Copyright © KoalaAreAussie.blogspot.com

Enciu et al. (2011) likewise look at the mechanism by which neurons come back to life after significant trauma. Thus, as hinted at above, they confirm that neuroregeneration takes place with the proliferation of endogenous, or implantation of exogenous NSCs, which in turn differentiate and successfully adapt. What's more, the colleagues explain that neuroregeneration may be perceived as a neulogism, involving all the following events: neuroplasticity, neurogenesis and neurorestoration.

actif brain

Contrary to popular belief, most of the brain is active at all times. Image: Copyright © KoalaAreAussie.blogspot.com

artist impressions

The Milky Way galaxy - artist's impression. Image: Copyright ©KoalaAreAussie.blogspot.com

References:

• Enciu, A. M., Nicolescu, M. I., Manole, C. G., Muresanu, D. F., Popescu, L. M. & Popescu, B. O. (2011). Neuroregenerration in neurodegenerative disorders. BMC Neurology, 11 (75): 1-7.
• Fan, M. M. Y. & Fan, J. (2006). Proliferating neural precursor cells as first step toward neuroregeneration in Huntington’s disease? The Journal of Neuroscience, 26 (52): 13411-2.

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