7. Potential Regeneration of the Ageing Brain

  1. Mohammed T. Abou-Saleh2,
  2. Cornelius Katona3 and
  3. Anand Kumar4
  1. Stephen B. Dunnett

Published Online: 3 DEC 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470669600.ch7

Principles and Practice of Geriatric Psychiatry, Third Edition

Principles and Practice of Geriatric Psychiatry, Third Edition

How to Cite

Dunnett, S. B. (2010) Potential Regeneration of the Ageing Brain, in Principles and Practice of Geriatric Psychiatry, Third Edition (eds M. T. Abou-Saleh, C. Katona and A. Kumar), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9780470669600.ch7

Editor Information

  1. 2

    Division of Mental Health, St George's, University of London, Cranmer Terrace, London SW17 0RE, UK

  2. 3

    Department of Mental Health Sciences, University College London, Charles Bell House, 7-73 Riding House Street, London WIW 7EJ, UK

  3. 4

    Department of Psychiatry, University of Illinois-Chicago, 912 South Wood Street, Chicago, IL 60637, USA

Author Information

  1. School of Biosciences, Cardiff University, Museum Avenue Box 911, Cardiff, CF10 3US, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 3 DEC 2010
  2. Published Print: 17 DEC 2010

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470747230

Online ISBN: 9780470669600



  • normal and abnormal ageing - potential regeneration of ageing brain;
  • adaptive plasticity;
  • collateral sprouting;
  • regenerative sprouting;
  • neural transplantation;
  • trophic support - neuronal connections, and trophic support from targets;
  • adult neurogenesis;
  • neuronal damage repair - and neurodegenerative disease and normal ageing, remaining experimental;
  • rapid advances in techniques - inhibiting degeneration


“It has long been believed that regeneration of new nerve cells (‘neurogenesis’) in response to ageing, disease or injury is absent in the adult mammalian brain. Nevertheless a variety of strategies are available to promote recovery from neurodegeneration. Biochemical plasticity within neurons allows spare cells to adapt and compensate for partial cell loss. We can seek to prevent the progress of degeneration by providing treatments for trophic support of injured neurones. Collateral sprouting and regenerative sprouting are processes whereby surviving nerve cells regenerate axons and reorganise connections with their targets. The development of techniques of neural transplantation now allow appropriate cell types to be grafted into the brain, and the use of embryonic and/or stem cells offers hope of new treatments in a range of neurodegenerative conditions. Finally, it is now becoming apparent that there exist a small but significant resting population of neuronal precursors (neuronal stem cells) in the adult brain; if we can harness control of adult neurogenesis, cell differentiation and migration, it may become possible to go beyond protection and extrinsic repair to induce the ageing brain to self-repair.”