Navigation Links
'Bilingual' neurons may reveal the secrets of brain disease

This press release is available in French.

A team of researchers from the University of Montreal and McGill University have discovered a type of "cellular bilingualism" a phenomenon that allows a single neuron to use two different methods of communication to exchange information. "Our work could facilitate the identification of mechanisms that disrupt the function of dopaminergic, serotonergic and cholinergic neurons in diseases such as schizophrenia, Parkinson's and depression," wrote Dr. Louis-Eric Trudeau of the University of Montreal's Department of Pharmacology and Dr. Salah El Mestikawy, a researcher at the Douglas Mental Health University Institute and professor at McGill's Department of Psychiatry. An overview of this discovery was published in the Nature Reviews Neuroscience journal.

Their results show that many neurons in the brain are able to control cerebral activity by simultaneously using two chemical messengers or neurotransmitters. This mode of communication is known as "cotransmission." According to Dr. Trudeau, "the neurons in the nervous system both in the brain and in the peripheral nervous system are typically classified by the main transmitter they use." For example, dopaminergic neurons use dopamine as a transmitter to communicate important information for many different phenomena such as motivation and learning. The malfunction of these neurons is involved in serious brain diseases such as schizophrenia and Parkinson's. "Our recent research, carried out in part with Dr. Laurent Descarries at the University of Montreal, shows that dopaminergic neurons use glutamate as a second transmitter. That means they are able to transmit two types of messages in the brain, on two time scales: a fast one for glutamate and a slower one for dopamine."

Other research conducted by Dr. Salah El Mestikawy's team at the Douglas Mental Health University Institute observed the same kind of bilingualism in brain neurons that use serotonin, a group of cells that communicate important information for controlling mood, aggression, impulsivity and food intake, and also those that use acetylcholine, an important messenger for motor skills and memory that is unbalanced by Parkinson's disease, antipsychotic drugs and in drug addiction.

Joint studies carried out with their colleague Dr. sa Wallen-Mackenzie at Uppsala University in Sweden and published recently in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal suggest that the secretion of glutamate by dopaminergic neurons could, for example, be involved in the behavioural effects of psychostimulants such as amphetamines and cocaine. "We know very little about the role of cotransmission in disease and the regulation of behaviour, however," Dr. Trudeau warned. "That will have to be the subject of future studies."


Contact: William Raillant-Clark
University of Montreal

Related medicine news :

1. Elsevier Health Middle East announces publication of first bilingual medical title
2. Bilingualism Seems to Boost Brain Power
3. Bilingual People More Adept at Learning Third Language
4. Bilingual benefits reach beyond communication
5. Bilingualism delays onset of Alzheimers symptoms
6. Researchers get $3.3 million grant to investigate language outcomes of bilingual children
7. Bilingualism Might Begin in the Womb
8. Human stem cells transformed into key neurons lost in Alzheimers
9. Learning causes structural changes in affected neurons
10. Neurons work like a chain of dominos to control action sequences
11. Neurons cast votes to guide decision-making
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/25/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 , ... In an ... Resurrection Medical Center (RMC) in Chicago, IL, UV Angel is evaluating the efficacy of ... and surgical intensive care units (totaling 30 beds) from May 2014 through October 2015 ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... , ... Today, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) learned that the ... the first time since 2011. In 2014, there were 9,967 fatalities involving an alcohol ... National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 32,675 people were killed in traffic crashes in ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... In honor of ... Pioneers, individuals and groups responsible for advancing care for pulmonary hypertension (PH) patients ... by the public, will receive special recognition throughout 2016 as part of PHA’s ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Privately owned Contract ... significant expansion of its current state of the art research, development and manufacturing ... to increase its manufacturing capacity as well as to support its clients’ growing ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Many people know of the common ... cold hands, and dry skin. But many people who find their cholesterol levels and ... instead of their thyroid, especially if they don’t have any of the other symptoms. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... , Nov. 24, 2015  Array BioPharma Inc. ... Chief Executive Officer, Ron Squarer , will ... in New York.  The public is welcome to ... the Array BioPharma website.Event:Piper Jaffray Annual Healthcare ConferencePresenter:  ... December 2, 2015Time:1:30 p.m. Eastern Time Webcast: ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , Nov. 24, 2015  DILON Diagnostics and ... signed an agreement for DILON to distribute GE,s Discovery ... the globe. The signing of this distribution agreement will provide ... Molecular Breast Imaging system and is considered an initial ... better healthcare solutions for clinicians and their patients. ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... November 24, 2015 ... adds Latest Guidebook for Chinese Medical ... pages published in November 2015 to the medical ... intelligence library at . ... fastest growing global economies with a fifth population ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: