Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Timing is crucial from the brain to the spinal cord

09.05.2018

Neuroscientists from the University of Tübingen use transcranial magnetic stimulation to investigate the interaction of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord

Just a slight movement of the hand is an intricate concert of interactions between nerve cells. For a signal from the brain to reach the spinal cord and then the muscle, different neuronal networks must find a common rhythm.


Neurosurgeon Professor Alireza Gharabaghi and his team have broken down this complex process in a study at the University of Tübingen. A better understanding of such processes can help to develop new therapies for patients with hand paralysis. The findings were published in the journal Cerebral Cortex.

Brushing our teeth, drinking coffee or using a smartphone: We use our hands naturally and without thinking while going about our lives. It is different for people who are paralyzed after a stroke or accident, causing signals transmitted from the brain along the spinal cord to the muscles to become out of sync.

This is why we need to understand the exact rhythm in which the nerve cells in the motor system normally communicate with each other in order to be able to restore this rhythm even after damage to the nervous system.

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), a non-invasive and painless method of diagnosis and treatment, is particularly suitable for this purpose. TMS allows the activity of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord to be investigated without contact. A magnetic field generates a pulse above the head; neuronal signals are transmitted from nerve cells to nerve cells until, for example, they reach the hand and trigger movement.

Simultaneous electrical recordings with electroencephalography (EEG) and electromyography (EMG) can be used to determine the state of activity of the nerve cells when they communicate particularly well with each other.

Alireza Gharabaghi’s team has now been able to show that two different neuronal networks, which oscillate in different rhythms, are particularly important for interaction between the brain and spinal cord: The first network occurs in the motor areas of the left and right hemispheres of the brain and oscillates at a frequency of 14-17 Hz and the second oscillates mainly between the brain and the spinal cord at a frequency of 20-24 Hz.

Timing is crucial in both networks: Impulses must arrive exactly to the millisecond so that they are passed on optimally to the hand. “These findings can help us to develop more targeted therapies for people with paralysis of the hand,” says Gharabaghi. Further studies are planned to investigate a clinical application for stroke patients.

Publication:
Khademi F, Royter V, Gharabaghi A. Distinct Beta-band Oscillatory Circuits Underlie Corticospinal Gain Modulation. Cerebral Cortex. 2018 Apr 1;28(4):1502-1515.doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhy016
https://academic.oup.com/cercor/article/28/4/1502/4836787

Contact:
Prof. Dr. med. Alireza Gharabaghi
University of Tübingen / Faculty of Medicine
University Hospital / Functional and stereotactic neurosurgery
Phone: +49 7071 29-85197
alireza.gharabaghi@uni-tuebingen.de

Antje Karbe | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
Further information:
http://www.uni-tuebingen.de/

Further reports about: Cortex TMS brain and spinal cord magnetic field nerve cells paralysis spinal cord

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Overlooked molecular machine in cell nucleus may hold key to treating aggressive leukemia
23.04.2019 | Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center

nachricht Bacteria use their enemy -- phage -- for 'self-recognition'
23.04.2019 | Chinese Academy of Sciences Headquarters

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Quantum gas turns supersolid

Researchers led by Francesca Ferlaino from the University of Innsbruck and the Austrian Academy of Sciences report in Physical Review X on the observation of supersolid behavior in dipolar quantum gases of erbium and dysprosium. In the dysprosium gas these properties are unprecedentedly long-lived. This sets the stage for future investigations into the nature of this exotic phase of matter.

Supersolidity is a paradoxical state where the matter is both crystallized and superfluid. Predicted 50 years ago, such a counter-intuitive phase, featuring...

Im Focus: Explosion on Jupiter-sized star 10 times more powerful than ever seen on our sun

A stellar flare 10 times more powerful than anything seen on our sun has burst from an ultracool star almost the same size as Jupiter

  • Coolest and smallest star to produce a superflare found
  • Star is a tenth of the radius of our Sun
  • Researchers led by University of Warwick could only see...

Im Focus: Quantum simulation more stable than expected

A localization phenomenon boosts the accuracy of solving quantum many-body problems with quantum computers which are otherwise challenging for conventional computers. This brings such digital quantum simulation within reach on quantum devices available today.

Quantum computers promise to solve certain computational problems exponentially faster than any classical machine. “A particularly promising application is the...

Im Focus: Largest, fastest array of microscopic 'traffic cops' for optical communications

The technology could revolutionize how information travels through data centers and artificial intelligence networks

Engineers at the University of California, Berkeley have built a new photonic switch that can control the direction of light passing through optical fibers...

Im Focus: A long-distance relationship in femtoseconds

Physicists observe how electron-hole pairs drift apart at ultrafast speed, but still remain strongly bound.

Modern electronics relies on ultrafast charge motion on ever shorter length scales. Physicists from Regensburg and Gothenburg have now succeeded in resolving a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

First dust conference in the Central Asian part of the earth’s dust belt

15.04.2019 | Event News

Fraunhofer FHR at the IEEE Radar Conference 2019 in Boston, USA

09.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Marine Skin dives deeper for better monitoring

23.04.2019 | Information Technology

Geomagnetic jerks finally reproduced and explained

23.04.2019 | Earth Sciences

Overlooked molecular machine in cell nucleus may hold key to treating aggressive leukemia

23.04.2019 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>