Some neurons in the cerebral cortex show higher spontaneous activity during general anesthesia than when awake, and this activity is synchronized across the cortical cells.
Human neurons have fewer ion channels compared to other animals. The reduced number of ion channels may have allowed the human brain to divert energy to other neural processes, researchers say.
··5 min read
Researchers have identified functional features that make human neurons unique.
GABAergic interneuron excitation is essential for network activity in the hippocampus of the fetal brain.
Cognitive challenges trigger a slight oxygen deficit in hippocampal pyramidal neurons. This increases the production of erythropoietin (Epo) and its receptors in the active neurons, stimulating neighboring precursor cells to form new neurons and enhancing connectivity.
Increased potassium currents were responsible for hyperactivity of CA3 neurons. When exposed to potassium channel blockers, the hyperactivity disappeared. However, when exposed to lithium, the drug not only reversed hyperactivity but reduced potassium currents at the same time. The findings strengthen the case that potassium currents play a role in bipolar disorder.