Overview of the Respiratory System
Neurogenesis in the Adult Brain
The long-standing dogma that the brain of adult mammals is incapable of producing new neurons recently has been overturned. We now know that while most cells in the brain are born during the embryonic and early postnatal period of development, new neurons are generated throughout life and are added to at least two areas of the brain: the hippocampus (which is involved in certain types of learning and memory) and the olfactory bulb (which is involved in the sense of smell). These newly generated neurons arise from populations of cells known collectively as “neural precursors,” which can differentiate into the various types of cells that make up the nervous system. Adult neurogenesis (the birth of new neurons) has been demonstrated in a number of animals, including rodents, monkeys, and humans.
- Bedard, A. & Parent, A. (2004). Evidence of newly generated neurons in the human olfactory bulb. Developmental Brain Research, 151, 159-168.
- Curtis, M. A., Kam, M., Nannmark, U., Anderson, M. F., Axell, M. Z., Wikkelso, C., Holtas, S., van Roon-Mom, W. M. C., Bjork-Eriksson, T., Nordbor, S., Frisen, J. F., Dragunow, M., Faull, R. L. M., & Eriksson, P. S. (2007). Human neuroblasts migrate to the olfactory bulb via a lateral ventricular extension. Science, 315, 1243-1249.
- Emsley, J. G., Mitchell, B. D., Kempermann, G., & Macklis, J. D. (2005). Adult neurogenesis and repair of the adult CNS with neural progenitors, precursors, and stem cells. Progress in Neurobiology, 75, 321-341.
- Eriksson, P. S., Perfilieva, E., Bjork-Eriksson, T., Alborn, A. M., Nordborg, C., Peterson, D. A., & Gage, F. H. (1998). Neurogenesis in the adult human hippocampus. Nature Medicine, 4, 1313-1317.
- Modified from: Vesalius, A. (1543). De humani corporis fabrica. Retrieved 03-19-07 from http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Image:1543%2CVesalius%27OlfactoryBulbs.jpg#
- White, A. M. (2004). What happened? Alcohol, memory, blackouts, and the brain. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Retrieved 03-19-07 from http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/arh27-2/186-196.htm
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