Sensory deprivation causes changes in new cell size and excitability in the olfactory system, which governs the ability to smell, according to a study in Neuron by a Yale School of Medicine researcher.
"This gives new insight into how stem cells in the olfactory system may be used to restore function in a brain that has been compromised by degenerative disease or trauma," said Gordon Shepherd, M.D., co-author of the paper and professor of neuroscience at Yale.
Shepherd, on sabbatical with Pierre-Marie Lledo of the Pasteur Institute, investigated how the olfactory system responds to changes brought about by injury or different levels of activity. They closed one nostril in mice, a common sensory deprivation procedure, and then observed how the olfactory system adjusted to the change in sensory input.
Jacqueline Weaver | EurekAlert!
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