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Drugs for Brain Growth

September 1, 2006

Scientists already know that some drugs boost the growth of new neurons in the brain. Anti­depressants, for example, trigger the birth of brain cells in an area involved in learning and memory, which might play a role in the drugs’ ability to fight depression. Now, companies are seeking compounds that are better at enhancing the brain’s ability to grow new cells. This could improve treatments for diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, as well as depression.

New neurons (yellow) are born in a rat. (Courtesy of Brain Cells, Inc.)