A neuroblast is a newly divided cell that will develop into a neuron. The biggest change a neuroblast still undergoes is losing the ability to divide. Neuroblasts can therefore divide, while neurons cannot. As a result, this type of cell occurs mostly in a certain part of development, namely after proliferation, during neuronal migration.
Neuroblasts also still occur in the adult brain. These cells have the ability to migrate to damaged brain areas. Unfortunately, they cannot completely restore the functions of this area, but they can serve as small interneurons in this area. The neuroblasts then ensure that information can still be passed through this area.
It is already difficult to examine the brain, but examining developing brains is almost impossible. This type of research has therefore been done primarily in the fruit fly.
Author: Myrthe Princen (translated by Melanie Smekal)