Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Glial-Cells Revisited

Initially, much of earlier research concentrated on studying neurons rather than glial cells. It was hypothesized that glial cells were “servants” that took care of neurons and performed a variety of housekeeping tasks for them. With additional research it appears that this is inaccurate. As pointed out in Great Myths of the Brain, it now turns out that astrocytes, one type of glial cells, play a direct role in processing information in the brain. These glial cells influence the communication that occurs between neurons, play an architectural role in neural networks, and even help to eliminate or create synapses. Maiken Nedergaard, a prominent researcher in this area, suggests that glial cells should be perceived as the parents of neurons, not as their servants. More tomorrow.

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