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DHEA Boosts Growth Rate of Human Neural Stem Cells

MADISON - Human neural stem cells, exposed in a lab dish to the steroid DHEA, exhibit a remarkable uptick in growth rates, suggesting that the hormone may play a role in helping the brain produce new cells, according to a new study published this week in the online editions of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

The new work, conducted by a team of scientists at th......

Full article >>> eriments by growing human fetal neural stem cells in culture. The cells form aggregates known as 'neurospheres,' which were exposed to a cocktail of DHEA and growth and inhibitory factors, and observed a 29 percent increase in new brain cells compared to cells grown in a medium with the same factors, but without DHEA.

"We saw such a pure effect of DHEA," Svendsen says.

"It's the ......

Full article >>> ibility that DHEA could have some positive effects on the adult human brain.

It's known that DHEA amounts fall progressively during aging, and reduced levels of DHEA have been reported in both adolescents and adults with major depressive disorders. And given the fact that adult humans have neural stem cells that continue to make new neurons in some parts of the brain, there is a possibili......

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'"/> By Terry Devitt 02/18/04

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