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 Neurone merge

A type of neurone that, when malfunctioning, has been tied to epilepsy, autism and schizophrenia is much more complex than previously thought, researchers at MIT’s Picower Institute for Learning and Memory report in the Sept. 9 issue of Neuron.

The majority of brain cells are called excitatory because they ramp up the action of target cells. In contrast, inhibitory cells called interneurones put the brakes on unbridled activity to maintain order and control. Epileptic seizures, as well as symptoms of autism and schizophrenia, have been tied to dysfunctional inhibitory cells.

‘Too much activity and you run the risk of uncontrolled activity, while too little leads to cognitive and behavioural deficits,’ said Mriganka Sur, Paul E. Newton Professor of Neuroscience, whose laboratory carried out the study. ‘Normal brain development and function hinges on the delicate balance between excitation and inhibition.’

For a long time, interneurones, which make up only one-fifth of brain cells, were thought to be a kind of generic, homogenous shutdown agent. The MIT study points to a new view: At least some interneurones have very precise responses and form specific connections and circuits.

Read in Full:  http://www.sciencecentric.com/news/10090941-mit-researchers-find-that-interneurones-are-not-all-created-equally.html



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