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Neuromolecular Med. 2004;5(1):1-9.

Neurogenesis and neuroadaptation.

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Department of Chemical Engineering and the Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720-1462, USA.


Adult neurogenesis has been established as a further mechanism of neural plasticity in the adult nervous system, and numerous studies are beginning to provide insights into the functional purposes and consequences for this new mode of neuroadaptation. These studies have approached the problem from a molecular scale, attempting to identify signaling factors that regulate stem cell function, as well as a systems or behavioral level, attempting to establish correlative and potentially causal links between neurogenesis and behavior. These two approaches have begun to reveal several potential functions for adult hippocampal neurogenesis, including adaptive roles in learning and memory, adaptation to novel environments, potential links to depression and moods, and possible responses to injury. The further implementation and convergence of these two approaches and the development of new methods to study the problem will yield further insights into both what are the many neuroadaptive roles of neurogenesis and potential means to harness it for neuroregeneration.

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