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Yves Pichon’s New Book Presents Latest Neurophysiological Discoveries


The sodium theory has been elegantly proposed by A.L. Hodkin, A.F. Huxley and B. Katz in the early 1950s, after their experiments on Plymouth squids, to account for the role of sodium and potassium ions in nerve functions. Since then, the electrophysiological techniques and the data acquisition techniques have known amazing developments. In The Sodium Theory Revisited, author Yves Pichon wants to give an account of the latest developments in the field since then in different laboratories experimenting with a variety invertebrate species.

One of the most important technical developments has been the use of single cockroach axons, which have been found to behave very much like squid axons. Another almost simultaneous development, which proved extremely useful for the understanding of the nerve function, was “in situ” microelectrode recording, enabling an indirect analysis of the extra-axonal environments. Experiments on several species indicate that the CNS is protected from the ionic environment by the blood-brain barrier. On the other hand, quite unexpectedly, little ion accumulation is detected in the vicinity of the axonal membrane in various physiological conditions. Another innovating technique was the 'patch-clamp' technique which enables the recording of the activity of individual ionic channels in cultured neurons. The last chapter of this report is devoted to different mechanisms leading to repetitive activity through modification of the sodium and potassium axonal conductance.

Extremely comprehensive and insightful, The Sodium Theory Revisited is an illuminating glimpse into the latest advents of the field of neurophysiologic research. Pichon’s work will surely prove to be an engaging read for experts in that area of study, as well as those with keen interests in the matter.

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About the Author

Yves Pichon was born in Brittany before WW2 and obtained his Degrees (biology) from the University of Rennes. During his first year at University, he has been fascinated by the experiments of Hodgkin and Huxley on squid axons (1956 , Croonian Lecture, ) and their formulation of the ionic theory of nerve function. Since then, first as technician, then as full time resarcher at the CNRS (Paris), Pichon has spent 45 years in several Laboratories, (Rennes, Gif sur Yvette, Cambridge, Plymouth, WoodsHole) to elucidate the various functions of ions (mostly Na+ and K+) in the nervous system of invertebrates. He has published numerous paper, edited several books and organized several international meetings, the last one in Rennes (2004), was entitled “Ion channels: from biophysics to disorder” and is published in the European biophysical Journal. In the present short report the author illustrates the main findings of his research in which he has combined many innovating electrophysiological techniques and sophisticated computer programs.

The sodium theory revisited * by Yves Pichon
Or 45 years of a full time CNRS neurophysiologist
Publication Date: March 25, 2013
Trade Paperback; £9.99; 99 pages; 978-1-4797-9370-9
Trade Hardback; £19.99; 99 pages; 978-1-4797-9371-6
Ebook; £3.99; 978-1-4797-9372-3

Members of the media who wish to review this book may request a complimentary paperback copy by contacting the publisher at +0800-644-6988. To purchase copies of the book for resale, please fax Xlibris at 44-203-006-8880 or call +0800-644-6988.

For more information, contact Xlibris at +0800-644-6988 or on the web at

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