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The molecule of the youth.

The brain of a mouse has been rejuvenated: a molecule was sufficient to bring the neurons in a typical stage of adolescence, making them much more sensitive and opened to learning and to repair any damage. The result, published in the journal Neuron, is due to the research conducted by the American Yale and may help repair the damage caused by brain trauma, such as those triggered by the stroke.  

The brains of young people are very different from those of adults: those ones of adolescents are more plastic and malleable and thanks to this feature, these brains are able to learn faster and more quickly repair any brain injury. The adult brain is much more rigid and the new connections that connect neurons (synapses) are set with a much slower pace. It is now known that this great difference is due probably to a single active gene in the adult brain.

Watching for a few months the synapses in a group of mice, the researchers were able to identify the switch of the 'youth' neural: this is the gene called Nogo 1. Mices are lack this gene, the levels of brain plasticity typical of young people persist into adulthood. And when the researchers blocked the expression of this gene in adult mice, their brain is back to the level of malleability typical of adolescence.

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