Apr 10, 2013

CEREBRART - Basket Cell

Despite more than 100 years of scientific research, the causes of schizophrenia are still unknown. Neural oscillations are a fundamental mechanism for enabling coordinated activity of brain cells.

Recent evidence from electrophysiological, physiological and anatomical studies suggests that abnormalities in the oscillatory activity of brain cells may have a central role in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. There is evidence towards cortical hyperexcitability in schizophrenics - “Glutamate Chaos” because of a lack of inhibition. 

Dysfunctional oscillations may arise owing to anomalies in the brain’s rhythm-generating networks of GABA-interneurons.

Of the GABA-interneurons types, the cortical Basket Cells are very characteristic in that their axons, when viewed under the microscope, terminate on somata and proximal dendrites of Pyramidal Cells. Therefore, Basket Cells, whose axon terminals surround principal cell somata and proximal dendrites, have a privileged and influential position for regulating the firing of Pyramidal Cells.

The strategic location of Basket Cells axons has long suggested that they subserve inhibitory
mechanisms on the somata of Pyramidal Cells possibly preventing and limiting chaotic processes - “Glutamate Chaos” - in the network of Pyramidal Cells. Thus, altered perisomatic inhibition of Pyramidal Cells by Basket Cells could provide a plausible mechanistic basis for the gamma-oscillation impairments and cognitive deficits in schizophrenia. In the future, this hypothesis may provide a powerful research tool to gain new insights on ways to limit chaotic processes and restore gamma oscillations in schizophrenia.

This CEREBRART work illustrates these ideas artistically.

7 comments:

  1. Less than 200 years ago schizophrenia emerged from a tangle of mental disorders known simply as madness. Today its diagnosis remains shrouded in ambiguity. Psychiatrists may discover that this disorder is not a single syndrome after all but a bundle of overlapping conditions
    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=throughout-history-defining-schizophrenia-has-remained-challenge&WT.mc_id=SA_DD_20130410

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  2. The round thing ...

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    1. A basketball is round, a basket cell isn't ...

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  3. The philosopher Nietzsche wrote: “You must have chaos within you to give birth to a dancing star.”

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    1. The authors of the new study suggest that philosopher Nietzsche died of frontotemporal dementia. Frontotemporal dementia is a type of dementia that specifically affects the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain. Or perhaps Nietzsche died of bipolar disease? Or even schizophrenia? These words do not explain anything in the case of Nietzsche. He had Chaos in His Brain.

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  4. Glutamate Chaos - recent studies support the hypothesis that downregulation of interneurons e.g. cortical basket cells may have significant feedforward excitation of the hippocampal trisynaptic circuit and elevations in glutamate might be characteristic of incipient psychosis in schizophrenia and associated with emergent chaotic symptoms. Read e.g. Imaging Patients with Psychosis and a Mouse Model Establishes a Spreading Pattern of Hippocampal Dysfunction and Implicates Glutamate as a Driver - Neuron, Volume 78, Issue 1, 81-93, 10 April 2013

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  5. Glutamate Chaos is the expression of the possibility to quickly modify the brain reaction. And that's not a bad thing!

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