- Alzheimer’s disease and adult neurogenesis—Are endogenous stem cells part of the solution?
- US Neurology
- Volume | Issue number
- 5 | 1
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences (SILS)
The human brain produces new neurons that mediate hippocampal plasticity but also have a potential role in hippocampal-related disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Factors such as stress and aging that reduce adult neurogenesis also serve as independent risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease. Causality between loss of neurogenesis and hippocampal dysfunction has not been established; however, neurogenesis is an attractive research avenue for therapy since it is readily modifiable. Activities such as running and enrichment increase the proliferation of neural stem cells and survival of nascent neuroblasts. Adult neurogenesis may alternatively reflect capacity to overcome age-dependent insults and neurodegeneration in the hippocampus. This collectively indicates that stimulation of endogenous cells or transplantation of neural stem cells are potential pathways reversing the behavioral changes associated with neurodegenerative disorders by augmenting structural plasticity of the hippocampus. Continued research in this area and in appropriate animal models of disease is critical for evaluating whether neurogenesis-based therapeutic strategies will have the potential to aid those with degenerative conditions.
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