Recent Advances in Neural Stem Cell Research: How Stem Cells in the Brain Are Altered by a Changing Environment

Introduction to Neurogenesis
The discovery of adult neurogenesis (the endogenous production of new neurons) in the mammalian brain more than 40 years ago (Malcolm R. Alison, 2002) has resulted in a wealth of knowledge of this branch of neuroscience. Today we know that the continuous production of new neurons is facilitated by adult neural stem or progenitor cells (NSC/NPCs) (Cattaneo & McKay, 1990; Gage, 2000; Temple, 2001). These are self renewing, multipotent cells which possess the capability to differentiate into any neural cell type by asymmetric cell division (Temple, 2001).