Science News: Memory impairment not due to lost neurons

Max More (
Mon, 16 Sep 1996 09:35:20 -0700 (MST)

Browsing Science News over my morning coffee, I found an encouraging report:
The old idea that memory impairment in older people results from the loss of
neurons in the hippocampus has been challenged by a couple of recent studies.

Instead of looking at a thin slice of rat hippocampus, researchers counted
neurons in 3D pieces. They found no evidence that the older rats with memory
impairment had fewer neurons. Though this study needs to be done on human
hippocampuses, this gives reason to think that memory impairment results
from changes in function of neurons (making different proteins, etc.) rather
than in neuronal loss. That's good, because it should make preservation and
restoration of function easier.


Max More, Ph.D.
President Extropy Institute (ExI)
Editor Extropy