Neurogenesis & Physiatry

Using Neurogenesis to Repair Nerve Damage

Neurogenesis is the body’s natural process of growing or re-growing nerve cells. This process is studied by physiatrists who treat patients that have lost nerve cells in the brain and / or spinal cord due to disease or injuries such as traumatic brain injuries (TBI), spinal cord damage, Parkinson’s disease, cerebral palsy, and stroke. Neurogenesis may allow these patients to get back some of the function they lost.

Scientists are beginning to learn how to stimulate this process through methods such as:

  • Exercise – There is evidence to suggest that following an exercise program may effectively trigger the body’s neurogenesis.
  • Stem Cell Treatments – Another form of stimulating neurogenesis involves taking cells from the bone marrow that have not yet fully matured—otherwise known as stem cells—which are then treated and caused to be returned to the brain / spinal cord as mature nerve cells, replacing those that have been damaged.

While there is still a lot to learn about neurogenesis, it is clear that this process holds the potential for regenerating damaged central nervous systems safely and effectively for many patients. This is an exciting area of study with a lot of potential. Ask your Fremont physiatrist at Washington Township Medical Foundation about neurogenesis as a form of natural recovery.