Conferences, Fourth International Conference "SCIENCE AND SCIENTIST – 2016"

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Enhancing Brain Plasticity Ameliorates Cognitive Deficits
B. S. Shankaranarayana Rao, Ph.D.

Date: 2016-08-26 02:15 PM – 02:45 PM
Last modified: 2016-08-17


Neuronal plasticity is an extraordinary property of the brain and refers to the morphological, biochemical, behavioral and electrophysiological alterations in both the adult and developing nervous system. Thus, it is becoming increasingly clear that a regenerative and continuing mechanism for adaptive reorganization of the brain occurs because of the property of neuronal plasticity. This unique property of the nervous system may be responsible for the recovery of functions in several brain disorders including stress, anxiety, depression and mental retardation. Stress is a condition that seriously perturbs physiological and psychological homeostasis, resulting in disorders ranging from anxiety to post traumatic stress disorder. Severe traumatic or repeated stress can result in long-term deleterious effects leading to depression and cognitive deficits. Prolonged stress induces learning and memory impairments, dopaminergic and cholinergic dysfunction, dendritic atrophy, decreases neurogenesis and long-term potentiation (LTP), alters sleep-wake cycle, and enhances degeneration of the hippocampal and medial prefrontal cortical neurons. These degenerative changes in the brain are associated with decreased neurotrophic factors mainly brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), alterations in NMDA receptors and tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) in the hippocampus. Thus, stress leads to regressive plasticity in the hippocampal and cortical neurons, the crucial brain regions involved learning and memory.

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