This article by Karen Weintraub from Scientific American should give everyone who enjoys a drink or two hope! The study points toward lifelong neuron formation in the adult brain’s hippocampus, the implications for memory and disease meaning the old truth that we lose our brain cells isn’t the whole story.
If the memory centre of the human brain can grow new cells, it might help people recover from depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), delay the onset of Alzheimer’s, deepen our understanding of epilepsy and offer new insights into memory and learning. If not, well then, it’s just one other way people are different from rodents and birds.
Scientists have long argued about whether or not neurons can be generated after we have reached adulthood. The orthodoxy was that they couldn’t but this new study has found that neuron growth may well happen throughout our lives and if this is true then it will have a profound effect on how we approach learning and memory.