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Adult mouse gut makes new neurons

Study also finds nerve cell growth can be stimulated in the mice

A new way to treat digestive disorders may be hidden in the bowels of mice. Researchers report in the Aug. 5 Journal of Neuroscience that new gut nerve cells are born in adult mice and that the process can be sped up. The find suggests that gastrointestinal disorders may one day be treated with drugs that could stimulate the generation of nerve cells.

For a long time scientists thought people were born with all the neurons they would ever have. Recently researchers have found a couple of exceptions in the brain: Neurons for smelling and remembering are produced in the brain continuing into adulthood (SN: 9/27/08)

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