Environmental enrichment: evidence for an unexpected therapeutic influence

Exp Neurol. 2015 Feb:264:121-6. doi: 10.1016/j.expneurol.2014.11.012. Epub 2014 Dec 4.


Environmental enrichment produces wide-ranging effects in the brain at molecular, cellular, network, and behavioral levels. The changes in neuronal plasticity are driven by changes in neurotransmitters, neurotrophic factors, neuronal morphology, neurogenesis, network properties of the brain, and behavioral correlates of learning and memory. Exposure to an enriched environment has also demonstrated intriguing possibilities for treatment of a variety of neurodegenerative diseases including Huntington's disease, Alzheimer's disease, and Parkinson's disease. The effect of environmental enrichment in epilepsy, a neurodegenerative disorder with pathological neuronal plasticity, is of considerable interest. Recent reports of the effect of environmental enrichment in the Bassoon mutant mouse, a genetic model of early onset epilepsy, provides a significant addition to the literature in this area.

Keywords: Bassoon; Environmental enrichment; Epilepsy; Treatment.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Environment*
  • Epilepsy / genetics
  • Epilepsy / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / genetics
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / genetics
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / therapy*
  • Neuronal Plasticity / physiology


  • Bsn protein, mouse
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins