PerspectiveNeuroscience

Adult neurogenesis in mammals

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Science  31 May 2019:
Vol. 364, Issue 6443, pp. 827-828
DOI: 10.1126/science.aav6885

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Summary

The first claim, in the early 1960s, that neurons could be generated in the postnatal mammalian brain was met with considerable skepticism and controversy (1). Over the next 20 years, each subsequent study reporting adult neurogenesis in the mammalian brain was greeted similarly (2, 3). A dogma had been established and accepted by the scientific community: After birth, no new neurons could be generated. Conceptually, it was thought that the structural composition of the neurons within the brain remained unchangeable after birth. However, the detection of adult neurogenesis in certain regions of the brain suggested that the adult brain exhibits more plasticity than previously thought, and this has implications for concepts of self, memory, and the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases.

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