- The scientists achieved this by transplanting a certain type of embryonic neuron into the brains of adult mice. The transplanted neurons express GABA, a chief inhibitory neurotransmitter that aids in motor control, vision and many other cortical functions.
- Much like older muscles lose their youthful flexibility, older brains lose plasticity. But in the Gandhi study, the transplanted GABA neurons created a new period of heightened plasticity that allowed for vigorous rewiring of the adult brain. In a sense, old brain processes became young again.
- These results raise hopes that GABA neuron transplantation might have future clinical applications. This line of research is also likely to shed light on the basic brain mechanisms that create critical periods.
UCI neurobiologists restore youthful vigor to adult brains
5. 19. 15 by Greg Richards