Sunday, March 12, 2006

Glia and Genius

The Other Half of the Brain

I was reading a book on Einstein's Brain today, and accidentally turned to a page that stunned me. A lady scientist that was looking at Einstein's brain was stuned to find that the glia were over-represented in his brain. She wanted to know if smarter rats had more glia. I think she found that out. This article talks about how neurons work on action potentials- electricity if you like- to transfer information. Glia work with CHEMICAL messages. This is important, because for years scientists dismissed glia as being important to cognition. They also missed its connection to pain. If this is true, then pain transmission could be more chemical than electrical, and needs a different drug to calm it down. Most pain relievers and anti- epileptics and anti-psychotics work on the neuronal theory of pain transmission- the Gate Theory. If it isn't a gate but more of a sideways message that spreads due to glial signalling, then more needs to be done in all these areas.

And by the way Gabapentin, Neurontin has NO AFFINITY for GABA receptors in the brain. All those people who told me it worked that way that have degrees and such were just plain wrong. I need to link to that information.



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