A recent study tests the ability of a recently-discovered peptide to promote neurogenesis and neuronal plasticity in the hippocampuses in subjects who have experienced traumatic brain injury (TBI). Trauma to the hippocampus due to TBI can cause long-term cognitive deficits.
In previous studies, the peptide in question - Peptide 6 - corresponded to an active region of human neutrophic factor that increased the number of adult hippocampal progenitor cells in mice with Down syndrome and Alzheimer's disease. Researchers subjected mice to TBI and then injected mice with either Peptide 6 or a saline solution for 30 days after injury.
Using stereographical analysis, researchers observed more proliferating progenitors in the dentate gyrus and neuronal commitment in mice injected with Peptide 6 compared to mice injected with saline. This data suggests long-term treatment with Peptide 6 may promote neurogenesis in the hippocampus and curb cognitive deficits; further research may delineate potential treatments in human patients with TBI.
Omar Chohan M, Igbal K, Yonas H, and Nemoto E. Enhancement of adult hippocampal neurogenesis by a neurotrophic Peptide in traumatic brain injury. Neurosurgery. (August 2013).