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Neural Regen Res. 2014 Apr 1;9(7):688-92. doi: 10.4103/1673-5374.131567.

The potential of endogenous neurogenesis for brain repair and regeneration following traumatic brain injury.

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1
Department of Neurosurgery, Medical College of Virginia Campus, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA, USA.

Abstract

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the leading cause of death and disability of persons under 45 years old in the United States, affecting over 1.5 million individuals each year. It had been thought that recovery from such injuries is severely limited due to the inability of the adult brain to replace damaged neurons. However, recent studies indicate that the mature mammalian central nervous system (CNS) has the potential to replenish damaged neurons by proliferation and neuronal differentiation of adult neural stem/progenitor cells residing in the neurogenic regions in the brain. Furthermore, increasing evidence indicates that these endogenous stem/progenitor cells may play regenerative and reparative roles in response to CNS injuries or diseases. In support of this notion, heightened levels of cell proliferation and neurogenesis have been observed in response to brain trauma or insults suggesting that the brain has the inherent potential to restore populations of damaged or destroyed neurons. This review will discuss the potential functions of adult neurogenesis and recent development of strategies aiming at harnessing this neurogenic capacity in order to repopulate and repair the injured brain.

KEYWORDS:

adult neurogenesis; cell proliferation; cognition; hippocampus; learning and memory function; neural stem cells; regeneration; subventricular zone; traumatic brain injury

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