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:1/25/2016)... 25, 2016   Unisys Corporation (NYSE: UIS ) ... Kennedy (JFK) International Airport, New York City , ... imposters attempting to enter the United States ... pilot testing of the system at Dulles last ... at JFK during January 2016. --> pilot testing ...
(Date:1/20/2016)... , Jan. 20, 2016 A market that ... directly benefit from the explosion in genomics knowledge. Learn ... Sound Research. A range of dynamic trends are pushing ... - personalized medicine - pharmacogenomics - pathogen evolution - ... large markets - greater understanding of the role of ...
(Date:1/13/2016)... ALBANY, New York , January 13, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... Transparency Market Research has published a new market report ... Share, Growth, Trends, and Forecast, 2015 - 2023. According to ... mn in 2014 and is anticipated to reach US$1,625.8 ... from 2015 to 2023. In terms of volume, the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/11/2016)... 11, 2016  Bioethics International, a not-for-profit organization focused on ... marketed and made accessible to patients around the world, today ... named the publication of the Good Pharma Scorecard ... also featured as one of BMJ Open ,s ,Most ... that are most frequently read. Ed Sucksmith , ...
(Date:2/11/2016)...  Wellcentive today announced it has been selected ... -based community care organization (CCO) with more than ... reporting and care management solutions and services. Wellcentive,s ... quality managers, analysts and care managers while providing ... FamilyCare members. Oregon ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... , Feb. 11, 2016  Dovetail Genomics™ LLC ... its beta program for a planned metagenomic genome assembly ... the company,s metagenomic genome assembly method in a talk ... Genome Biology & Technology conference in Orlando, ... these highly complex datasets is difficult. Using its proprietary ...
(Date:2/11/2016)...   BioInformant announces the February 2016 release ... Opportunities, Tools, and Technologies – Market Size, Segments, Trends, ... The first and only market ... BioInformant has more than a decade of historical information ... stem cell type. This powerful 175 page global strategic ...
Breaking Biology Technology: