Hippocampal Neurogenesis and Ageing
Although significant inconsistencies remain to be clarified, a role for neurogenesis in hippocampal functions, such as cognition, has been suggested by several reports. Yet, investigation in various species of mammals, including humans, revealed that rates of hippocampal neurogenesis are steadily declining with age. The very low levels of hippocampal neurogenesis persisting in the aged brain have been suspected to underlie the cognitive deficits observed in elderly. However, current evidence fails to support the hypothesis that decrease of neurogenesis along normal ageing leads to hippocampal dysfunction. Nevertheless, current studies are suggestive for a distinct role of hippocampal neurogenesis in young versus adult and old brain.
KeywordsCognition Ageing Neurogenesis Doublecortin Neural stem cell
The author is grateful to Prof. L. Aigner (Paracelsus Medical University, Salzburg) and Prof. B. Iglseder (Christian Doppler Clinic, Salzburg) for their critical and stimulating comments. This work has been made possible through the support from the State Government of Salzburg (Austria), the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF grant 01GN0978) and the foundation Propter Homines (Liechtenstein). The research leading to these publication has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement n° HEALTH-F2-2011-278850 (INMiND) and n° HEALTH-F2-2011-279288 (IDEA).
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