Genetics

Worms and plants could reveal how neurological drugs work

There are drugs derived from plants to treat epilepsy, to prevent migraines and to halt manic episodes in people with bipolar disorder. But in many cases, no one knows exactly how those and other neurological drugs work – ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Lung neuropeptide exacerbates lethal influenza virus infection

Severe influenza virus infection is characterized by a strong inflammatory response and profuse viral replication in lungs. These viruses, such as the notorious avian flu, have a high rate of death and to date there are no ...

Neuroscience

Confronting the side effects of a common anti-cancer treatment

Results of a new study by neuroscientists at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and the University of Toronto suggest that a new treatment approach is needed—and how this may be possible—to address adverse effects ...

Neuroscience

Neurons migrate in the nascent brain as if on rails

Researchers examined the brain development of mouse embryos. They concentrated on a pool of neuronal precursor cells that develops in the hindbrain about ten days after fertilization. These mature into nerve cells and then ...

Neuroscience

Regrowing damaged nerves hinges on shutting down key genes

Neurons in the brain and spinal cord don't grow back after injury, unlike those in the rest of the body. Cut your finger, and you'll probably be back to using it in days or weeks; slice through your spinal cord, and you likely ...

Neuroscience

How prions invade the brain

The spread of prions to the brain does not occur by direct transmission across the blood-brain barrier, according to a study published November 29 in the open-access journal PLOS Pathogens by Annika Keller and Adriano Aguzzi ...

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Nervous system

The nervous system is a network of specialized cells that communicate information about an organism's surroundings and itself. It processes this information and causes reactions in other parts of the body. It is composed of neurons and other specialized cells called glial cells,(plural form glia), that aid in the function of the neurons. The nervous system is divided broadly into two categories: the peripheral nervous system and the central nervous system. Neurons generate and conduct impulses between and within the two systems. The peripheral nervous system is composed of sensory neurons and the neurons that connect them to the nerve cord, spinal cord and brain, which make up the central nervous system. In response to stimuli, sensory neurons generate and propagate signals to the central nervous system which then processes and conducts signals back to the muscles and glands. The neurons of the nervous systems of animals are interconnected in complex arrangements and use electrochemical signals and neurotransmitters to transmit impulses from one neuron to the next. The interaction of the different neurons form neural circuits regulate an organism's perception of the world and what is going on with its body, thus regulating its behavior. Nervous systems are found in many multicellular animals but differ greatly in complexity between species.

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