DEcember 5, 2009
The research group of Professor Magdalena Gotz of Helmholtz Zentrum Munchen and Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitat (LMU) Munich has made a significant advance in understanding regeneration processes in the brain. The researchers discovered progenitor cells which can form new glutamatergic neurons following injury to the cerebral cortex. Particularly in Alzheimer's disease, nerve cell degeneration plays a crucial role.
In the future, new therapeutic options may possibly be derived from steering the generation and/or migration mechanism. These findings have been published in the current issue of the renowned journal Nature Neuroscience.
Until only a few years ago, neurogenesis - the process of nerve cell development - was considered to be impossible in the adult brain. The textbooks asserted that dead nerve cells could not be replaced. Then researchers discovered regions in the forebrain in humans in which new nerve cells can be generated throughout life. These so-called GABAergic cells use gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a neurotransmitter of the central nervous system.============================================