Professor Perry Bartlett discovers adult brains can create new neurons.

Professor Perry Bartlett discovers adult brains contain stem cells that can produce new neurons. Using a cocktail of hormones known as growth factors, he and colleagues stimulate the growth of new brain cells, pointing towards the presence of stem cells inside the brain.

Overturning dogma

A common scientific belief throughout the 20th century was that, in mammals, the adult brain did not create new neurons (nerve cells). According to this belief we are born with the most number of neurons we will ever have, and although they will continue to make new connections throughout our lives, their number will slowly decline.

Professor Perry Bartlett’s discovery contributed to overturning this dogma. 

Repairing damaged nerves

Triggering growth of new neurons could hold the key to repairing damage caused by neurodegenerative conditions such as motor neuron disease, as well as spinal cord and brain injuries.