Navigation Links
U of M researchers identify process that may help treat Parkinson's, spinal cord injuries
Date:4/16/2008

MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL (April 16, 2008) A new discovery by University of Minnesota researchers may lead to a better understanding of how the spinal cord controls how people walk. These insights could help lead to treatments for central nervous system maladies such as Parkinson's disease and spinal cord injuries.

The study, headed by Joshua Puhl, Ph.D., and Karen Mesce, Ph.D., in the Departments of Entomology and Neuroscience, discovered its possible that the human nervous system within each segment or region of spinal cord may have its own unit burst generator to control rhythmic movements such as walking.

By studying a simpler model of locomotion, in the medicinal leech, the research shows where these unit burst generators reside and that each nerve cord segment has a complete generator. When a neuron fires, it sets off a chain reaction that gives rise to rhythmic movement. Once those circuits are turned on, the body essentially goes on autopilot.

Mesce and her research group targeted the segmented leech for study because they have fewer and larger neurons making them easier to study.

The study was published today online in the Journal of Neuroscience.

For most of us, we can chew gum and walk at the same time, Mesce said. We do not have to remind ourselves to place the right leg out first, bring it back and do the same for the other leg. So how does the nervous system control rhythmic behaviors like walking or crawling"

Furthermore, and perhaps just as important, the study found that dopamine a common human hormone can turn each of these complete generator units on.

Since dopamine regulates movements and activates those unit burst generators, the next step will be figuring out how dopamine makes individual neurons more or less active.

Because dopamine affects movement in many different animals, including humans, our studies may help to identify treatments for Parkinsons patients and those with spinal cord injury, Mesce said.


'/>"/>

Contact: Nick Hanson
hans2853@umn.edu
612-624-2449
University of Minnesota
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. OHSU Cancer Institute researchers discover key gene involvement in cancer development
2. Combining liver cancer treatments doubles survival rates, UVA researchers find
3. Leading HIV researchers to collaborate on vaccine development
4. Georgetown researchers find stem cell marker controls 2 key cancer pathways
5. Blood pressure drugs halt pancreatic cancer cell growth, Jefferson researchers find
6. OHSU Cancer Institute researchers find connection between protein, prognosis in breast cancer
7. Karmanos Researchers Report Enhanced Chemosensitivity of Pancreatic Cancer Cells by Black Seed Component
8. Penn researchers find targeted therapy combination overcomes treatment resistance in liver cancer
9. Researchers find disparities in depression among older Hispanics in US
10. Researchers Identify New Genetic Links to Psoriasis
11. Penn researchers discover modus operandi of heart muscle protein
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... 13, 2017 , ... The Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) of Somerset Hills is ... vendors and unique items from across the nation, this holiday-themed event will raise funds ... by the VNA. The boutique will be open Saturday, November 4 (10:00 a.m. ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Yisrayl Hawkins, Pastor and Overseer at The ... the most popular and least understood books in the Holy Scriptures, Revelation. The Book ... have baffled scholars for centuries. Many have tossed it off as mere rubbish, but ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... ... Journey: From the Mountains to the Mission Field”: the story of a missionary couple ... From the Mountains to the Mission Field” is the creation of published author, Carole ... and currently teaches a class of ladies at her church, which she has taught ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... CA (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... Cheng, are now treating sleep apnea using cutting-edge Oventus O2Vent technology. ... a serious sleep disorder characterized by frequent cessation in breathing. Oral appliances can ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... PALM CITY, Fla. (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... of cold therapy products, announced today the introduction of an innovative new design of ... the multipurpose pad so you get maximum comfort while controlling your pain while using ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/13/2017)... Sept. 13, 2017   OrthoAtlanta has been named ... Football Host Committee (AFHC) for the 2018 College Football Playoff ... 2018, at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia ... AFHC "I,m In" campaign, participating in many activities leading up ... ...
(Date:9/12/2017)... 12, 2017  Consumer reviews on the independent review site ... number one company for hearing aids, ranking it higher than ... ... by Consumers For Hearing Aids ... is an online store that provides high performance, state-of-the-art, German-engineered hearing ...
(Date:9/9/2017)... , Sept. 8, 2017 ... Mobile MRI Unit coming to Washington DC ... When: Tuesday, September 12 th – Monday, September ... Washington, D.C. offering free MRI brain scans to the public.Where:  ... will be parked at 501 K Street NW, Washington, D.C.What:BTF brings its ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: