Clelland CD, Choi M, Romberg C, Clemenson GD, Fragniere A, Tyers P, Jessberger S, Saksida LM, Barker RA, Gage FH, Bussey TJ.
A functional role for adult hippocampal neurogenesis in spatial pattern separation.
Science. 2009 Jul 10;325(5937):210-3.
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This interesting paper provides additional evidence for a functional role of adult neurogenesis, or the birth of new neurons, in the adult mouse brain. The authors show that interruption of hippocampal neurogenesis by either of two strategies—radiation or blockade of Wnt signaling—leads to defects in spatial discrimination. These findings are relevant to Alzheimer disease and related disorders, because they suggest that treatments directed at increasing neurogenesis might have the capacity to restore cognitive functions that are impaired in these disorders. However, determining the clinical relevance of the results presented will require much additional research.