Neuron production in adults and teenagers are same, according to a report published on April 5, 2018.
Healthy human beings produce new neurons throughout their lives and according to the study, older people remain cognitively and emotionally intact. Researchers at Columbia University found that neurons continue to produce in the hippocampus of older people similar to the rate at which it is produced in young people. Hippocampus is a part of the brain responsible for memory, emotion, and cognition.
Brains of 28 people who were healthy previously and died suddenly between the age of 14 and 79 were examined by the researchers. It was found that ability to produce thousands of hippocampal new neurons from progenitor cells are similar in both older and younger people. Volumes of hippocampus were also found to be equal. It was found that the ability to generate new hippocampal cells decreases with age in rodents and primates. Similarly, reduction in production of neurons and shrinkage of parts of the brain that helps in the formation of new episodic memories were believed to occur in ageing humans as well.
However, the study conducted by Columbia University found equal number of newly formed cells in old and young brains. Shawn Sorrells and Mercedes Paredes, co-authors of the research, said, “For now, we do not think this new study challenges what we have concluded from our own recently published observations: if neurogenesis continues in the adult human hippocampus, it is an extremely rare phenomenon.” However, other scientists find the study of Columbia University promising enough and finds it helpful in the development of new treatments for neurological disorders.