Navigation Links
Comatose locusts may help relieve migraines
Date:2/7/2008

KINGSTON, ON. The way locusts react to stress may provide an important clue to understanding what causes human migraines and how to reduce their painful effects, says Queens University Biology professor Mel Robertson.

With PhD student Corinne Rodgers, Dr. Robertson is using insect models to examine how the nervous system controls breathing when stress is induced through high temperatures and oxygen deprivation. They have discovered that the locusts reaction to extreme heat is very similar to a disturbance in mammals that has been associated with human migraines and stroke.

As a way of temporarily shutting down and conserving energy when conditions are dangerous, the locusts coma has many of the same characteristics seen in people at the onset of a migraine. We feel there may be an evolutionary link between the two, Dr. Robertson suggests.

His teams findings are published on-line in the journal PLoS ONE.

The study monitors locust breathing cycles, which are controlled by a collection of nerve cells in the central nervous system. With heat or lack of oxygen, the insects initially breathe more quickly and then go into a coma. They recover when the temperature comes down again, or oxygen levels rise.

We find that the point of coma is always associated with a surge of extra-cellular potassium ions: the same as has been observed in human brain tissue during surgery, says Ms Rodgers. For the nervous system to work properly, potassium should be high inside cells and low outside, she points out. What were seeing is a failure of that ability to maintain this equilibrium but in fact, in the locust, it appears to be an adaptive response to protect the system.

Also on the Queens team are students Gary Armstrong and John LaBrie, research assistant Kelly Shoemaker and Biology professor Chris Moyes.

Previous research in Dr. Robertsons lab has shown a genetic component to this response, which indicates there may be an evolutionary link to what happens during migraines in people. Its possible, for example, that the brain architecture necessary for increased sensitivity also predisposes areas of some peoples brains to become over-excited, and that migraines provide a means of temporarily shutting things down, he suggests.

While migraine has been associated with this disturbance for some time, the mechanisms underlying the phenomenon are not yet well understood. And that understanding will be key to designing new migraine treatments.

We found that we could precondition the locust system to be more stress-tolerant. If the mechanisms are the same as those in humans, then similar manipulations could help to protect brain function under stressful conditions, such as those leading to migraine, says Dr. Robertson.

Something is triggering events like this, he adds. Maybe we can just bias that slightly, so it wont trigger as often, or the consequences will not be as severe.

The Queens team has two joint patent applications under way: one to manipulate cellular pathways to mitigate the effects of high temperatures on the brain, and the other to manipulate pathways for migraine therapy.


'/>"/>

Contact: Nancy Dorrance
nancy.dorrance@queensu.ca
613-533-2869
Queen's University
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. A Few Shots Away: Immunotherapy May Relieve Allergy Symptoms
2. Strength training of neck muscles relieves chronic pain
3. The Ultimate Stress Reliever, SpaCapsule(R), the Capsule that Takes You on a Rejuvenating Journey to the Spa, Retains TransMedia Group for Soothing PR
4. New Non-Surgical Stem-Cell Procedure Relieves Degenerative Joint Disease
5. AUDIO from Medialink and Bayer: Is Your Pain Reliever Undermining Your Aspirin Therapy?
6. Flaxseed May Relieve Hot Flashes
7. Fish Oil Might Help Relieve MS
8. Neuromuscular Dentistry Ends Womans Migraines
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/26/2017)... ... ... “When the Stars Lead Home”: a poignant story of loss, determination, and ... Douglas, an avid reader who lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, daughter, ... Adventure Camp. She couldn’t be more grateful. , Twelve-year old Tizzy could not believe ...
(Date:5/26/2017)... ... 2017 , ... “Just What Happened in the Garden of Eden”: retells the stories of three ... the creation of published author, Penelope Colt, mother, trader, horse farmer, artist and a former ... she was three. At six, they moved to Dayton, Ohio, where Penny graduated high ...
(Date:5/24/2017)... BELLEVILLE, N.J. (PRWEB) , ... May 24, 2017 ... ... joined Clara Maass Medical Center CEO Mary Ellen, hospital employees, and town officials ... in Belleville. , The facility was developed by Rendina as part of its ...
(Date:5/24/2017)... ... 24, 2017 , ... Altec Products, Inc., a leader in enterprise ... one-day technology conference in San Diego, CA. , At nVerge 2017, Altec will ... utilize and enhance their Sage ERP solutions by providing improved visibility and control to ...
(Date:5/24/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... May 24, 2017 , ... Dr. Manju ... comfortable ClearCorrect orthodontics, with or without a referral. Dr. Kejriwal understands the ... she offers convenient, clear braces in Cincinnati, OH. Patients no longer need to feel ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/12/2017)... 2017  The China and Canada joint ... less water, energy and detergent, and features a powerful disinfection process. ... shoebox-sized washing machine that washes and sanitizes women,s panties or babies, ... ... and does not require an external water inlet. ...
(Date:5/10/2017)... Hologic, Inc. (Nasdaq: HOLX ) announced today ... ended April 1, 2017 .   GAAP diluted earnings ... the prior year period as the sale of the ... non-GAAP diluted EPS of $0.50 increased 6.4%.  Revenue of ... terms.  Excluding the effects of blood screening and the ...
(Date:5/10/2017)... , May 10, 2017  The Corporate Whistleblower ... employees of sleep therapy clinics to call us ... therapy clinic is involved in a substantial scheme ... in hearing from an employee of a medical ... a kickback scheme to provide medical practice groups with ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: