Researchers at Queensland Brain Institute (QBI) have now found a process that could lead to development// of repair mechanisms for people suffering from dementia and acquired brain injury.
The research focuses on the hippocampus, the part of the brain commonly associated with memory function and where the brain's ability to regenerate nerve cells or neurons is known to degenerate with age.
The study by Dr Natalie Bull and Professor Perry Bartlett, from The University of Queensland-based institute, features on the front cover of the prestigious Washington-based Journal of Neuroscience.
Dr Bull's and Professor Bartlett's research demonstrated adult mice produce multi-purpose, or progenitor, cells in the hippocampus.
'The research suggests while progenitor cells in mice do not behave like stem cells, which have the ability to self-renew, the progenitor cells are nevertheless capable of generating nerve cells in the hippocampus,' Professor Bartlett said.
Professor Bartlett, who is also QBI director, said the latest discovery in the hippocampus was further evidence the human nervous system had the potential capacity to respond to its outside environment by generating new nerve cells.
In 1999, a team led by Professor Bartlett was the first to identify stem cells in the brain and then the first to isolate those cells in 2001.
In September 2004, QBI discovered a molecule that blocks regrowth of damaged nerve cell processes ? research considered important in developing potential therapies for people with head and spinal injuries.
Researchers at the QBI are also working on treatments for Alzheimer's, stroke, Parkinson's and depression.
Professor Bartlett is an Australian Research Council Federation Fellow, UQ's Foundation Chair in Molecular Neuroscience and was recently elected a Fellow of The Australian Academy of Science.
Professor Perry BarPage: 1 2 Related medicine news :1
. Kidney Stones - Interesting New Research implicates bacteria as its cause2
. Researchers urge caution in using ear tube surgery3
. Paracetamol May Cause Live Damage Warns Consumer Education and Research Centre4
. Researchers Scale to assess the Severity of Epilepsy in Kids5
. Research of Ritalin 6
. Researchers trick Alzheimers Enzyme7
. Researchers find new HIV hiding place8
. A Compilation of recent Diabetes Research articles9
. Research on causes for falling helps develop preventive strategies10
. New standards for Human Research Safety11
. Research on Celiac Disease in children