After attempting to accomplish the feat for several years, a team of neuroscientists at the University of California have been able to successfully restore full youthful plasticity to the brains of adult mice by transplanting neurons from healthy mice. Not only that, but the process also cured the mice’s visual impairments. The team believes that the technique could also be used to treat other neurological disorders.
The Long Road Ahead
For now, the research team has yet to test the transplanting method to target other neurological disorders, but they are optimistic that a deeper understanding on how exactly the neurons restore plasticity will clear the way for this possibility. It is currently not known which is responsible for the restored plasticity: the new cells triggering plasticity in existing neurons, or the proliferation of the transplanted cells. There are still many obstacles to overcome, yet experts remain very excited about the breakthrough.