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.

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 October 21, 2014 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 October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How Nigeria Beat Its Ebola Outbreak

How Nigeria Beat Its Ebola Outbreak

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) — The World Health Organization has declared Nigeria free of Ebola. Health experts credit a bit of luck and the government's initial response. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Another Study Suggests Viagra Is Good For The Heart

Another Study Suggests Viagra Is Good For The Heart

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) — An ingredient in erectile-dysfunction medications such as Viagra could improve heart function. Perhaps not surprising, given Viagra's history. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Worries End for Dozens on U.S. Watch Lists

Ebola Worries End for Dozens on U.S. Watch Lists

Reuters - US Online Video (Oct. 20, 2014) — Forty-three people who had contact with Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S., were cleared overnight of twice-daily monitoring after 21 days of showing no symptoms. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Calls for New Ebola Safety Guidelines

CDC Calls for New Ebola Safety Guidelines

AP (Oct. 20, 2014) — Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Tom Frieden laid out new guidelines for health care workers when dealing with the deadly Ebola virus including new precautions when taking off personal protective equipment. (Oct. 20) Video provided by AP
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