Newborn nerve cells may help heal the brain after a traumatic injury. In a study in mice, blocking the birth of new neurons hindered the mice’s ability to learn and remember a water maze after a brain injury, researchers from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas report in the March 30 Journal of Neuroscience. The new study suggests that newborn neurons made in the hippocampus — an important learning and memory center in the brain — are beneficial, at least in aiding recovery after traumatic brain injuries.
Some newborn brain cells wire into the wrong places and can lead to seizures. So the trick would be in controlling the new cells once they are born.
In other research, semiconducting tubes were used to control the growth of neurites. The controlled growth of neurites could be used to place the new neurons in the locations needed to restore function.
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