Select your localized edition:

Close ×

More Ways to Connect

Discover one of our 28 local entrepreneurial communities »

Be the first to know as we launch in new countries and markets around the globe.

Interested in bringing MIT Technology Review to your local market?

MIT Technology ReviewMIT Technology Review - logo

 

Unsupported browser: Your browser does not meet modern web standards. See how it scores »

Edward Callaway, a neuroscientist at the Salk Institute in San Diego, says these new findings are the first clear indication that larger structural changes occur in dendrites. But, he adds, researchers still need to show that these structural changes are linked to changes in the connections between neurons.

Nedivi and colleagues now plan to search for ways to boost the growth and plasticity of neurons, which could eventually provide a new approach to treating spinal cord injuries. They will also determine if such structural changes correlate with changes in learning and behavior, such as might occur after mice are challenged with a more stimulating environment or new tricks.

An additional area of interest, according to David Kleinfeld, a physicist who studies neurobiology at the University of California, San Diego, would be to investigate what happens to neurons in brain regions affected by stroke. “Blood vessels sprout in the ‘dead zone’ left after a stroke,” he explains, “but it’s unknown if you get sprouting of neurons at the same time.”

The MIT researchers will also look at mouse models of diseases such as Alzheimer’s, to figure out if neurons involved in such disorders grow too much, too little, or in the wrong way.

Image on home page courtesy of Elly Nedivi.

0 comments about this story. Start the discussion »

Reprints and Permissions | Send feedback to the editor

From the Archives

Close

Introducing MIT Technology Review Insider.

Already a Magazine subscriber?

You're automatically an Insider. It's easy to activate or upgrade your account.

Activate Your Account

Become an Insider

It's the new way to subscribe. Get even more of the tech news, research, and discoveries you crave.

Sign Up

Learn More

Find out why MIT Technology Review Insider is for you and explore your options.

Show Me
×

A Place of Inspiration

Understand the technologies that are changing business and driving the new global economy.

September 23-25, 2014
Register »