Stress produces neural stem cells

Researchers at the Columbia medical center are the first to suggest that the number of neural stem cells in the hippocampus, an area of the brain responsible for memory, learning and emotion, may not be static but can be altered by changing environmental conditions. By comparing the exposure in a stimulating environment in mice and in isolated, pressure under the environment of the changes of the hippocampus, they found that those who were in isolated mice under the condition of the hippocampus to produce than the number of neural stem cells in the stimulation of mice, including these neurons can only be created after neural stem cell differentiation.

The researchers hypothesized that in stressful or impoverished situations, the brain prepares itself by building up neural stem cells so that it can adapt to the demands of more stimulating environmental conditions, which are known to stimulate the production of more neurons. The results, published online June 9, 2011, in the journal Neuron, reveal a new form of neurplasticity. Further research into the environmental factors and mechanisms that promote the production of neurons and neural stem cells could lead to new treatments for patients with neurodegenerative diseases such as alzheimer's and Parkinson's.
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