As the human brain matures, the connections between older neurons become stronger, more numerous, and more intertwined, making integration for the newly formed neurons more difficult. Neural stem cells become less productive, leading to a decline in neurogenesis. With fewer new neurons to help sort memories, the aging brain can become less efficient at keeping separate and faithfully retrieving memories.
The research team selectively overexpressed a transcription factor, Klf9, only in older neurons in mice, which eliminated more than one-fifth of their dendritic spines, increased the number of new neurons that integrated into the hippocampus circuitry by two-fold, and activated neural stem cells.
When the researchers returned the expression of Klf9 back to normal, the old dendritic spines reformed, restoring competition. However, the previously integrated neurons remained.
read the full article.. www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2016-09/hms-mms083116.php
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