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Brain traffic jams that can disappear in 30 seconds
Date:6/6/2014

his method shows how the transport of components changes as neuronal pathways evolve over time.

The researchers found that certain blockages form and dissolve rather quickly. For example, one blockage appeared and disappeared within 29 seconds. Its relatively short life, Gunawardena said, indicates that the blockage is likely benign and not harmful to the cell.

A video showing a blockage that forms and dissolves rapidly can be found here: http://www.buffalo.edu/news/releases/2014/06/009.html.

The distinction is significant, she said, because it could allow researchers to focus on permanent blockages that likely halt cellular movement and may pose more serious health risks.

Researchers also looked at how the transport of essential materials over several days contributed to the growth of neurons. If transport was disrupted, growth of the neuron was compromised. As the neuron grew, the movement of some components carrying synaptic proteins increased while other components did not show significant changes.

This suggests that the transport of components in neuronal pathways is linked to the growth and function of the nerve cell.

Taken together, the findings suggest that more research must be conducted to better understand the spatial and temporal characteristics of how essential materials are transported within neurons of living organisms. This, in turn, will provide clues into how defects in this system can lead to neurodegenerative diseases and, perhaps, better ways to identify and treat these ailments.


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Contact: Cory Nealon
cmnealon@buffalo.edu
716-645-4614
University at Buffalo
Source:Eurekalert

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