Bursting neurons follow the same beat, sometimes
A simplified mathematical model of the brain’s neural circuitry shows that repetitious, overlapped firing of neurons can lead to the waves of overly synchronized brain activity that may cause the halting movements that are a hallmark of Parkinson’s disease.
The model provides a tool in the quest to gain a better understanding of the mechanisms behind this incurable degenerative disorder.
Researchers from IUPUI (Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis) reduced the complex biology of the basal ganglia, a part of the brain involved in voluntary motor control, down to a key system of two interconnected cells. The cells were linked together in an inhibitory relationship, meaning a signal from one cell would suppress the second cell’s firing. The team ran simulations of the two-cell system while tinkering with the parameters of the model.
For example, since levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine decrease in Parkinson’s patients, increasing the inhibitory coupling strength between cells, the team tested how the strength of the inhibitory connection affected the cells’ synchronization.
In a paper in the AIP’s journal Chaos, the researchers identified specific ranges of coupling strength most likely to lead to bursts of intermittently synchronized firings.
The team also produced squiggly-lined graphs showing how the complex interactions between slow-changing variables such as calcium ion concentration can cause intermittent synchronization of the two cells. Although the model is based on a neural network known to be affected by Parkinson’s disease, the authors believe that their mathematical model might also yield insights into the operation of more generic neural systems.
Article: “Intermittent synchronization in a network of bursting neurons” is accepted for publication in Chaos: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Nonlinear Science.
Authors: Choongseok Park (1) and Leonid L. Rubchinsky (1,2).
(1) Department of Mathematical Sciences and Center for Mathematical Biosciences, Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis
(2) Stark Neurosciences Research Institute, Indiana University School of Medicine
Catherine Meyers | EurekAlert!
The most recent press releases about innovation >>>
Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:
An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.
Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...
Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.
Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...
Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.
As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...
Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.
With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...
Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine
Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...