BERLIN, April 22 (Xinhua) -- A study jointly by German and foreign scientists have found that the cerebral cortex can not regenerate, the Friedrich Alexander University Erlangen Nuremberg (FAU) announced Tuesday.
Experimental studies in the past nourished hopes that the cortex is capable of forming new nerve cells to mitigate damages after a stroke occurs.
However, researchers in the new study were able to determine the age of the neurons accurately by using the radiocarbon dating method and found out they are mostly the same age of the stroke patient.
"No new neurons have formed to any significant extent in the cerebral cortex" after stroke, an FAU statement quoted Hagen Huttner, an FAU researcher involved in the study, as saying.
"The knowledge is indeed quite sobering at first glance," Huttner said. "But interestingly, the stroke surviving nerve cells have the ability to repair their genetic material damaged by the inadequate blood supply, as to represent a total of intact genome."
According to the FAU statement, now the scientists want to investigate further, because in many cases, stroke does not affect the cerebral cortex, but the so-called basal ganglia.
"An analysis of basal ganglia infarction could yield positive results and open the door for therapeutic options," said Huttner.