Posts Tagged ‘neuroscience’

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Neural Stem Cells in the Aged Brain

April 12, 2009

Within the last 20 years neuroscientists have shown that new neurons are generated in the brain throughout the lifespan. This finding opened a new area of research aimed at understanding if adult neural stem cells can be used in therapies for neurodegenerative diseases.

A challenge with this approach is that there are fewer neural stem cell in the aged brain and the loss of stem cells occurs at just the time when neurodegenerative diseases are most common. But a new study is providing important information that neural stem from an aged brain still have the capacity to mature into functional neurons.
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New study shows recovery of vision after stroke

April 10, 2009

A group of neuroscientists at the University of Rochester have shown that intensive training can promote recovery after a stoke.  What’s new is that the patients recovered vision after a stroke had damaged their visual cortex.

A stroke to the visual cortex causes a type of blindness called “cortical blindness” — the eyes still send information to the visual part of the brain but because of the stroke the brain can not process the information and the patient can not see.  Often these strokes affect only a part of the visual cortex leaving the person with a perceptual hole where they have no conscious feeling that they can see.   The traditional view is that there is little recovery after this type of stroke.  But Dr. Huxlin and her colleagues have shown that intensive visual training can promote a remarkable amount of recovery.
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