Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Damaged Brain Can Be Repaired And Cerebral Functions Restored, Neuronal Study Suggests

Date:
April 7, 2008
Source:
CNRS
Summary:
Scientists have shown that it is possible to repair an injured brain by creating a small number of new, specifically-targeted innervations, rather than a larger number of non-specific connections. Behavioral tests have demonstrated that such reinnervation can thus restore damaged cerebral functions.

A new afference/connection (in red) which has formed contacts on a target Purkinje cell (in blue), permitting functional restoration.
Credit: Copyright Dixon Kirsty

Scientists in the Laboratoire de Neurobiologie des Processus Adaptatifs (CNRS/Universitι Pierre et Marie Curie) have shown that it is possible to repair an injured brain by creating a small number of new, specifically-targeted innervations, rather than a larger number of non-specific connections. Behavioral tests have demonstrated that such reinnervation can thus restore damaged cerebral functions.

Related Articles


Brain injury in adults can cause irreparable, long-term physical and cognitive damage.  However, motor and spatial functions can be recovered if undamaged neurons are stimulated to create new innervation. This type of innervation develops spontaneously after a brain injury in very young children. 

Researchers had previously shown – based on injury to the neuronal pathway linking the stem to the cerebellum(1) – it was possible to induce reinnervation in young adults similar to that observed in newborn infants.  This repair was rendered possible by treating the damaged cerebellum with a peptide(2) called Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) which plays a role in the development and satisfactory functioning of this neuronal pathway.

In the present case, the researchers have extended the use of this model and showed that the terminals of new axons interact with the network of undamaged neuronal cells to restore their associated functions, such as synchronized movement and spatial orientation. These results demonstrate a correlation between an improvement in behavior and the degree of reinnervation in the cerebellum. Thus a small amount of correctly-targeted reinnervation makes it possible to recover fine functions such as motor and cognitive skills.

These results open promising new perspectives and make it possible to envisage using BDNF – already employed during clinical trials on the treatment of neurodegenerative conditions such as Parkinson's disease – to repair the human brain after a cerebral lesion.

Notes:

1) This neuronal pathway is referred to as the cerebellum to Purkinje cell climbing fiber pathway and it is implicated in the coordination of movements.

2) A protein that is normally present in the brain and is involved in its development and functioning.

Journal reference: Melina L. Willson, Catriona McElnea, Jean Mariani, Ann M. Lohof, and Rachel M. Sherrard. BDNF increases homotypic olivocerebellar reinnervation and associated fine motor and cognitive skill. Brain on April 1st, 2008.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by CNRS. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

CNRS. "Damaged Brain Can Be Repaired And Cerebral Functions Restored, Neuronal Study Suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 April 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080405165601.htm>.
CNRS. (2008, April 7). Damaged Brain Can Be Repaired And Cerebral Functions Restored, Neuronal Study Suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 28, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080405165601.htm
CNRS. "Damaged Brain Can Be Repaired And Cerebral Functions Restored, Neuronal Study Suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080405165601.htm (accessed January 28, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Poultry Culled in Taiwan to Thwart Bird Flu

Poultry Culled in Taiwan to Thwart Bird Flu

Reuters - News Video Online (Jan. 28, 2015) — Taiwan culls over a million poultry in efforts to halt various strains of avian flu. Julie Noce reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Media Criticizing Parents For Not Vaccinating Children

Media Criticizing Parents For Not Vaccinating Children

Newsy (Jan. 28, 2015) — As the Disneyland measles outbreak continues to spread, the media says parents who choose not to vaccinate their children are part of the cause. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shark Bite Victim Making Amazing Recovery

Shark Bite Victim Making Amazing Recovery

AP (Jan. 27, 2015) — A Texas woman who lost more than five pounds of flesh to a shark in the Bahamas earlier this month could be released from a Florida hospital soon. Experts believe she was bitten by a bull shark while snorkeling. (Jan. 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shoveling Snow: How to Prevent Back Injuries

Shoveling Snow: How to Prevent Back Injuries

Washington Post (Jan. 26, 2015) — What&apos;s the proper technique for shoveling snow? A physical therapist offers specific tips for protecting your back while you dig out this winter. Video provided by Washington Post
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins