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Studies Show That Brain Cells Do Not Regenerate But Remain The Same Throughout

Research from Karolinska Institute in Sweden haves shown that the nerve cells of the brain remain the same throughout a person's life. //

The researchers explained that in a human body most of the organs go through a continuous process of death and re-growth, for example the cells of the liver take an approximate of two years to be totally replaced by newer ones. The researchers had however found in their studies that the cells of the brain do not go through this process but remain the same through out the person life.

Many scientists have suspected that the cerebral nerve cells lack this renewal ability. However, studies on apes and rodents have indicated that brain cells can reform in mammals after all – including man. One problem with these findings has been the research methodology, as the most common way of measuring the age of nerve cells is extremely complicated, especially in man, and gives unreliable and controversial results.

Last year, stem cell researcher Jonas Frisén from Karolinska Institute presented a way to settle the issue with help from unexpected quarters – the nuclear tests of the cold war. He used a variation on the well-known carbon-14 method that is based on the fact that atmospheric concentrations of C14 peaked sharply during the cold war tests. By comparing levels of C14 in plant and animal cells with atmospheric levels, it is possible to pinpoint the exact time the cells were born.

Jonas Frisén has now teamed up with another Swedish research group from G?teborg University, led by Dr. Peter Eriksson, and scientists from Australia and America to measure levels of C14 in neocortical nerve cells from all the cerebral lobes of adult individual brains. They have been able to show that levels of C14 in the nerve cells from all areas of the cerebral cortex were just as high as the atmospheric levels at the time of the individual's birth. Put another way, no cell division had taken place in the neocor
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