In “New Insight Into the Brain’s Ability to Reorganize Itself” (ScienceDaily, Mar. 19, 2011), we learn
“It’s amazing how the brain is capable of reorganizing itself in this manner,” says Murphy, co-senior author of the study and researcher at U-M’s Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience Institute. “Right now, we’re still figuring out exactly how the brain accomplishes all this at the molecular level, but it’s sort of comforting to know that our brains are keeping track of all of this for us.”
In previous research, the scientists had found that restricting cell division in the hippocampuses of mice using radiation or genetic manipulation resulted in reduced functioning in a cellular mechanism important to memory formation known as long-term potentiation.
But in this study, the researchers demonstrated that the disruption is only temporary and within six weeks, the mouse brains were able to compensate for the disruption and restore plasticity, says Parent, the study’s other senior author, a researcher with the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System and associate professor of neurology at the U-M Medical School.
I can remember when it was absolutely dogma that brain cells never regenerated. Only woo woo hucksters doubted.
One outcome of the rigidity about rigidity was a grim future for stroke victims, compared to today. But getting to the bottom of that and fixing it nearly cost a scientist his career.