Targeting Adult Neurogenesis to Optimize Hippocampal Circuits in Aging

Neurotherapeutics. 2017 Jul;14(3):630-645. doi: 10.1007/s13311-017-0539-6.


Millions of individuals suffer from age-related cognitive decline, defined by impaired memory precision. Increased understanding of hippocampal circuit mechanisms underlying memory formation suggests a role for computational processes such as pattern separation and pattern completion in memory precision. We describe evidence implicating the dentate gyrus-CA3 circuit in pattern separation and completion, and examine alterations in dentate gyrus-CA3 circuit structure and function with aging. We discuss the role of adult hippocampal neurogenesis in memory precision in adulthood and aging, as well as the circuit mechanisms underlying the integration and encoding functions of adult-born dentate granule cells. We posit that understanding these circuit mechanisms will permit generation of circuit-based endophenotypes that will edify new therapeutic strategies to optimize hippocampal encoding during aging.

Keywords: Aging; Dentate gyrus; Hippocampus; Memory; Neurogenesis; Pattern separation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aging*
  • Animals
  • Dentate Gyrus / physiopathology
  • Hippocampus / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Memory / physiology*
  • Neural Pathways / physiopathology*
  • Neurogenesis / physiology*