Neuron—Glia Interrelations During Phylogeny: II. Plasticity and Regeneration

Springer Science & Business Media
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Publisher
Springer Science & Business Media
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Published on
Jul 20, 1995
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Pages
516
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ISBN
9781592594689
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Language
English
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Genres
Medical / General
Medical / Neuroscience
Science / Life Sciences / Neuroscience
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This content is DRM protected.
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Over the last two decades, the recognition that astrocytes - the predominant type of cortical glial cells - could sense neighboring neuronal activity and release neuroactive agents, has been instrumental in the uncovering of many roles that these cells could play in brain processing and the storage of information. These findings initiated a conceptual revolution that leads to rethinking how brain communication works since they imply that information travels and is processed not just in the neuronal circuitry but in an expanded neuron-glial network. On the other hand the physiological need for astrocyte signaling in brain information processing and the modes of action of these cells in computational tasks remain largely undefined. This is due, to a large extent, both to the lack of conclusive experimental evidence, and to a substantial lack of a theoretical framework to address modeling and characterization of the many possible astrocyte functions. This book that we propose aims at filling this gap, providing the first systematic computational approach to the complex, wide subject of neuron-glia interactions. The organization of the book is unique insofar as it considers a selection of “hot topics” in glia research that ideally brings together both the novelty of the recent experimental findings in the field and the modelling challenge that they bear. A chapter written by experimentalists, possibly in collaboration with theoreticians, will introduce each topic. The aim of this chapter, that we foresee less technical in its style than in conventional reviews, will be to provide a review as clear as possible, of what is “established” and what remains speculative (i.e. the open questions). Each topic will then be presented in its possible different aspects, by 2-3 chapters by theoreticians. These chapters will be edited in order to provide a “priming” reference for modeling neuron-glia interactions, suitable both for the graduate student and the professional researcher.
The #1 New York Times bestselling account of a neurosurgeon's own near-death experience—for readers of 7 Lessons from Heaven.

Thousands of people have had near-death experiences, but scientists have argued that they are impossible. Dr. Eben Alexander was one of those scientists. A highly trained neurosurgeon, Alexander knew that NDEs feel real, but are simply fantasies produced by brains under extreme stress.

Then, Dr. Alexander’s own brain was attacked by a rare illness. The part of the brain that controls thought and emotion—and in essence makes us human—shut down completely. For seven days he lay in a coma. Then, as his doctors considered stopping treatment, Alexander’s eyes popped open. He had come back.

Alexander’s recovery is a medical miracle. But the real miracle of his story lies elsewhere. While his body lay in coma, Alexander journeyed beyond this world and encountered an angelic being who guided him into the deepest realms of super-physical existence. There he met, and spoke with, the Divine source of the universe itself.

Alexander’s story is not a fantasy. Before he underwent his journey, he could not reconcile his knowledge of neuroscience with any belief in heaven, God, or the soul. Today Alexander is a doctor who believes that true health can be achieved only when we realize that God and the soul are real and that death is not the end of personal existence but only a transition.

This story would be remarkable no matter who it happened to. That it happened to Dr. Alexander makes it revolutionary. No scientist or person of faith will be able to ignore it. Reading it will change your life.
The thalidomide tragedy which occurred slightly more than a decade ago made public officials and the general public acutely aware of the teratogenic potential of drugs. Although specialists in pharmacology and developmental biology had been studying this problem many years before, this catastrophic episode triggered the passage of legislation which required that information about the teratogenicity of drugs be produced before the drugs could be available to the general public. Gross deformities in man produced by drugs are frequently difficult to reproduce in experimental animals and the changes which are produced in other animals are frequently not translatable to humans. The problem of evaluating the potential that drugs have to produce gross malformations is small, however, compared to the evaluation of subtle but permanent behavioral effects which drugs may exert upon the developing organism. Nevertheless, many experimental studies in recent years indicate that subtle biochemical changes produced by drugs on brain tissue during critical periods of fetal or early post natal maturation may become manifest subsequently as behavioral deviations in early childhood or adolescence. Hyperkinetic disorders, epilepsies and other developmental disabilities may have a subtle biochemical imbalance, perhaps drug induced, as an underlying factor. This symposium was organized with the intent of bringing to gether prominent investigators who are working in different aspects of brain development and who are interested in the effects of drugs on the developing brain in order to discuss their findings, pro pose new theories, and open new avenues for future research.
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