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Controversial study challenges scientific consensus that adult brains make new neurons

A controversial study published Wednesday concludes that the adult human brain does not produce any new neurons, contrary to dozens of experiments over the last 20 years.

Neuroscientists at the University of California, San Francisco, had a hunch their findings would be controversial, as tends to happen when you challenge popular, world-changing brain research. They were right.

Their study, published in Nature on Wednesday, concludes that the adult human brain does not produce any detectable new neurons in the area that’s supposedly ground zero for neuronal creation, contrary to dozens of experiments over the last 20 years. The idea that the brain is capable of “neurogenesis” well into old age has inspired hope that the process might be harnessed to treat memory loss, cognitive decline, depression, and more. But based on an examination of more than 50 brains, the UCSF team said neuron formation ends by late childhood.

“In adult brains, we couldn’t find a single

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