Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is ubiquitous and effective treatments for it remain supportive largely due to uncertainty over how endogenous repair occurs. Recently, we demonstrated that hippocampal injury-induced neurogenesis is one mechanism underlying endogenous repair following TBI. Donepezil is associated with increased hippocampal neurogenesis and has long been known to improve certain aspects of cognition following many types of brain injury through unknown mechanisms. By coupling donepezil therapy with temporally regulated ablation of injury-induced neurogenesis using nestin-HSV transgenic mice, we investigated whether the pro-cognitive effects of donepezil following injury might occur through increasing neurogenesis. We demonstrate that donepezil itself enhances neurogenesis and improves cognitive function following TBI, even when injury-induced neurogenesis was inhibited. This suggests that the therapeutic effects of donepezil in TBI occur separately from its effects on neurogenesis
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