Navigation Links
Brain cells work differently than previously thought
Date:8/19/2007

Irvine, Calif. Scientists know that information travels between brain cells along hairlike extensions called axons. For the first time, researchers have found that axons dont just transmit information they can turn the signal up or down with the right stimulation.

This finding may help scientists develop treatments for psychiatric disorders such as depression and schizophrenia in which it is thought that different parts of the brain do not communicate correctly with each other.

Until now, scientists have thought that in the brains cortex -- where most cognitive processes occur -- information was only processed in the cell body, said Raju Metherate, author of the study, associate professor of neurobiology and behavior, and director of the Center for Hearing Research at UC Irvine. The result of our study suggests that we must consider the axons as sites of information processing and of potential problems when things go wrong.

This study appears online Aug. 19 in Nature Neuroscience.

Increasingly, studies are beginning to show that complex information processing, and perhaps consciousness itself, may result from coordinated activity among many parts of the brain connected by bundles of long axons. Cognitive problems may occur when these areas dont communicate properly with each other.

Cognitive function occurs when millions of brain cells communicate with each other at the same time. A brain cell has a network of branches called dendrites through which it receives and processes information from other cells. The body of the cell then relays the processed information along an axon to a terminal that links to another cells dendrites. At the terminal, chemicals called neurotransmitters are released, allowing the information to enter the receiving cell. Until now, scientists believed axons were just the wires between point A and point B.

Axons, we thought, were like wires in a radio conveying signals, but we found that if you stimulate the axon, the signal can be altered, like turning the volume knob on the radio, Metherate said.

Originally, Metherate and his colleagues had hoped to confirm the idea that the drug nicotine alters information that is processed in the cell body or terminal. Puzzled by several negative tests, they developed an experiment in which they could study the intervening axon.

In their experiment, they examined a section of mouse brain associated with hearing that contained a brain cell with an axon connecting to the cortex. Using nicotine, they stimulated the axon to determine how it would affect a signal the brain cell sent to the cortex. Without applying nicotine, about 35 percent of the messages sent by the brain cell reached the cortex. But when nicotine was applied to the axon, the success rate nearly doubled to about 70 percent.

We looked for more conventional reasons why the response was enhanced, but the evidence just kept pointing to the axon. Nicotine activated the proteins that we think are on the axon, Metherate said. This is a completely new idea about how the brain works.


'/>"/>

Contact: Jennifer Fitzenberger
jfitzen@uci.edu
949-824-3969
University of California - Irvine
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Use of Cellular Phones associated with Increased risk of Brain Tumors
2. Brain death – How to cope with it
3. Multi billion-dollar suit filed against cell phone firm for causing brain tumours
4. “Brain fingerprinting”- The new lie detectr
5. Nasal Spray Could Take Drugs Direct to Brain.
6. Two doctors suspended for wrong brain surgery
7. The brain loves a surprise
8. Virus Combats Brain Tumour
9. Increase in sugar...decrease in brain function!!!
10. Alcohol shrinks brain
11. Roller coaster takes brain for a big ride!!
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:12/7/2016)... ... 2016 , ... ODU, a worldwide leader in designing ... advanced highly customizable contact technology solutions. , ODU Single Contact Technology portfolio includes: ... for a wide range of applications that require customization from industries like emobility, ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... ... December 07, 2016 , ... Augustine ... services to families and business owners in the greater Dallas metropolitan area, is ... Dallas Fallen Officer Foundation. , Established in 2009 by active police professionals in ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... ... 2016 , ... A. Kevin Spann Insurance, a New York-based firm offering insurance ... launching a charity drive to raise funds that will benefit the Marine Corps League. ... and Navy FMF Corpsmen. Working closely with the MCL, the A. Kevin Spann team ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... ... December 07, 2016 , ... The ... its fully redesigned website, which launched October 17, 2016, features comprehensive information regarding ... and easy-to-navigate layout. Visitors and patients can discover the latest clinical dermatology treatments ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... Dallas, TX (PRWEB) , ... December 07, 2016 ... ... service based in Dallas, Texas, is condemning "scam operations" carried out by unethical ... to bring these scam operations to a halt. According to Texas Premier Locksmith, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/7/2016)... Dec. 7, 2016 KEY FINDINGS ... benefits such as reducing loss of blood during ... cardiac arrests, rapid recovery after surgeries, and decreasing ... be segmented into convective warming system, surface warming ... turn reduce the stay at hospitals thus, lowering ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... DUBLIN , Dec 7, 2016 Research ... Product, Application and End User - Global Forecast to 2021" report ... , , ... reach USD 2.12 Billion by 2021, growing at a CAGR of 7.3% ... such as the growing prevalence of cancer and rapidly increasing geriatric population ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... , Dec. 7, 2016 DelveInsight,s, ... report provides in depth insights on the ... the Janus Kinase 3 (JAK3) Inhibitors. The ... various stages of development including Discovery, Pre-clinical, ... and Preregistration. Report covers the product clinical ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: