Navigation Links
Nerve cells can work in different ways with same result
Date:7/1/2013

Epilepsy, irregular heartbeats and other conditions caused by malfunctions in the body's nerve cells, also known as neurons, can be difficult to treat. The problem is that one medicine may help some patients but not others. Doctors' ability to predict which drugs will work with individual patients may be influenced by recent University of Missouri research that found seemingly identical neurons can behave the same even though they are built differently under the surface.

"To paraphrase Leo Tolstoy, 'every unhappy nervous system is unhappy in its own way,' especially for individuals with epilepsy and other diseases," said David Schulz, associate professor of biological sciences in MU's College of Arts and Science. "Our study suggests that each patient's neurons may be altered in different ways, although the resulting disease is the same. This could be a major reason why doctors have difficulty predicting which medicines will be effective with specific individuals. The same problem could affect treatment of heart arrhythmia, depression and many other neurological conditions."

It turns out, even happy neurons may be happy in their own way. Neurons have a natural electric activity that they are biologically programmed to maintain. If a neuron isn't in that preferred state, the cell tries to restore it. However, contrary to some previous beliefs about neuron functioning, Schulz's research found that two essentially identical neurons can reach the same preferred electrical activity in different ways.

In Schulz's study, individual neurons used different combinations of cellular pores, known as ion channels, to achieve the same end goal of their preferred electrical and chemical balances. Schulz compared the situation to five people in separate rooms being given sets of blocks and told to construct a tower. Each person could devise a different method for constructing the same structure.

Schulz's finding could inform doctor's treatment of epilepsy. In epileptics, the neurons of the brain frequently receive too little stimulation from other neurons. Those under-stimulated epileptic neurons may overcompensate and become too sensitive. Then, when any impulses actually do reach them from other neurons, those hyper-sensitive epileptic neurons may over-react and cause a seizure.

Schulz worked with Satish Nair, professor of electrical and computer engineering in MU's College of Engineering. The collaboration allowed their team to model nerve cell behavior in computer simulations in addition to his physical experiments using crab nervous systems.


'/>"/>

Contact: Tim Wall
walltj@missouri.edu
573-882-3346
University of Missouri-Columbia
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Penn biologists identify a key enzyme involved in protecting nerves from degeneration
2. Clues to nervous system evolution found in nerve-less sponge
3. New gene mutations linked to ALS and nerve cell growth dysfunction
4. Long-distance distress signal from periphery of injured nerve cells begins with locally made protein
5. MBL scientists discover nerves control iridescence in squid’s remarkable electric skin
6. MRI research sheds new light on nerve fibres in the brain
7. MRI research sheds new light on nerve fibers in the brain
8. Stem cells + nanofibers = Promising nerve research
9. A step forward in regenerating and repairing damaged nerve cells
10. NIH-funded researchers show possible trigger for MS nerve damage
11. OHSU study shows that a molecule critical to nerve cells increases drammatically during hypertension
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/22/2017)... Vigilant Solutions , a vehicle location ... announced today the appointment of retired FBI special agent ... business development. Mr. Sheridan brings more than ... focus on the aviation transportation sector, to his new ... Sheridan served as the Aviation Liaison Agent Coordinator (ALAC) ...
(Date:3/13/2017)... Future of security: Biometric Face Matching software  ... ... Matching enables to match face pictures against each other or against large databases. ... Systems) ... the fastest software for biometric Face Matching on the market. The speed is ...
(Date:3/7/2017)... CITY , March 7, 2017   HireVue ... help top global companies identify the best talent, faster, ... as Chief Sales Officer (CSO) and Diana Kucer ... appointments round out a seasoned executive team poised to drive ... beyond, building on a year of record bookings in ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/27/2017)...  Perthera,s Chief Bioinformatics Officer and research faculty member ... Ph.D., will be speaking at the American Medical Informatics ... 27, 2017, she will be speaking on the topic ... and Care" (from 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. PST) ... a participant in the "Making Precision Oncology Data More ...
(Date:3/27/2017)... DarioHealth Corp. (NASDAQ: DRIO), a leading global ... solutions, today announced that it is now offering a ... consumers who want to have their DarioHealth products reimbursed ... alliance agreements with partners across the U.S. who will ... approved, will supply and bill the customer,s insurance for ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... BEIJING , March 24, 2017 Sinovac Biotech Ltd. ... products in China , today announced that its ... the expiration date of the plan from March 27, 2017 to ... proposal. About Sinovac Biotech Ltd. ... Sinovac Biotech Ltd. is ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... San Diego, Calif. (PRWEB) , ... March 23, 2017 , ... Lajollacooks4u is proud to ... in 2008, it has hosted corporate cooking challenges for companies around the world, such as ... , Part of the reason for its increasing popularity is due to its new ...
Breaking Biology Technology: