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J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2001 Nov;299(2):401-7.

Regulation of adult neurogenesis by psychotropic drugs and stress.

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  • 1Abraham Ribicoff Research Facilities, Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, Connecticut Mental Health Center, Hew Haven 06508, USA.


Proliferation and maturation of neurons has been demonstrated to occur at a significant rate in discrete regions of adult brain, including the hippocampus and subventricular zone. Moreover, adult neurogenesis is an extremely dynamic process that is regulated in both a positive and negative manner by neuronal activity and environmental factors. It has been suggested to play a role in several important neuronal functions, including learning, memory, and response to novelty. In addition, exposure to psychotropic drugs or stress regulates the rate of neurogenesis in adult brain, suggesting a possible role for neurogenesis in the pathophysiology and treatment of neurobiological illnesses such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and drug abuse. As the mechanisms that control adult neurogenesis continue to be identified, the exciting prospect of developing pharmacological agents that specifically regulate the proliferation and maturation of neurons in the adult brain could be fulfilled.

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