Nav: Home

Lobachevsky University scientists are studying nervous system adaptation to ischemic damage

January 17, 2018

Lobachevsky University researchers are working to explore the mechanisms of adaptation of the nervous system to ischemic damage. Scientists say that under certain conditions, the brain's protective forces can be activated, even in some severe cases.

According to Maria Vedunova, Director of the Institute of Biology and Biomedicine at Lobachevsky University, a large number of stressors affect the body by depleting its internal reserves and, as a consequence, leading to a number of diseases.

"The effect of stress on the nervous system and the brain is especially damaging. Everything that we associate with the personality, self-consciousness, all our feelings and thoughts, decisions and experiences - all this is the result of the brain function. Therefore, scientists and medical practitioners face a global challenge - to find an effective way to protect nervous system cells and restore lost brain functions after damage. By solving this problem, it will be possible to change the quality of life of those who have suffered a stroke, severe trauma or surgery," notes Maria Vedunova.

UNN scientists are currently involved in the study of the role of internal adaptation systems of the central nervous system.

"We are developing ways to repair brain damage. To understand the mechanisms of ischemia and effectively combat this disease, each of its key links has to be examined separately. For this purpose, scientists create special model conditions to study the primary cultures of the cells from different brain sections (the "brain in vitro") rather than the whole brain. Thus, one can trace the processes taking place at the neural network level. Why is it so important? In fact, the brain functions are performed not by single neurons, but by their groups, neural networks. It is at the level of the neural network (the minimal structural and functional unit of the nervous system) that information is transferred, processed and stored, and complex cognitive reactions occur. In a cell culture, one can see how the neural network is formed, how an electrical impulse is generated, and how it is distributed and transmitted over the network, how the entire functional ensemble reacts to ischemic damage. Researchers around the world hope that the understanding of the way neural networks function in the normal state and under the effect of stressors will open up prospects for the development of effective therapeutic strategies.

It is practically impossible to study the operation of a neural network in the whole (intact) brain, because signals of a single network cannot be isolated. Besides, the brain is very well protected by the skull bones, and it is not so easy to get access to it: there are too many cells and signals. In culture, this can be done by using special techniques and complex mathematical calculations," continues Maria Vedunova.

UNN scientists have developed some methods for modeling different phases of ischemia and studied the features of the neural network operation under such effects. When modeling ischemic damage, very large numbers of neurons die, but their death does not occur simultaneously. Ischemic factors trigger pathological reactions within active neurons that lead to cell death within 3-6 days after an episode of ischemia.

Something similar occurs in the brain: most neurons die within the first week after exposure rather than at the moment of actual damage. The signal that a cell receives when there is a lack of oxygen and glucose or when the free radical oxidation is activated leads to the activation - by the cell itself - of the processes of cell death. It means that there is a period of time during which one can change the neuron's program and keep it alive.

These studies are of great fundamental importance. In the near future, the study of the nervous system's adaptive and regenerative properties will allow the development of a new therapeutic strategy for protecting the brain from traumatic and ischemic damage, thus contributing to the improvement of life quality and reducing the risk of severe disability among the working-age population.
-end-


Lobachevsky University

Related Brain Articles:

Study describes changes to structural brain networks after radiotherapy for brain tumors
Researchers compared the thickness of brain cortex in patients with brain tumors before and after radiation therapy was applied and found significant dose-dependent changes in the structural properties of cortical neural networks, at both the local and global level.
Blue Brain team discovers a multi-dimensional universe in brain networks
Using a sophisticated type of mathematics in a way that it has never been used before in neuroscience, a team from the Blue Brain Project has uncovered a universe of multi-dimensional geometrical structures and spaces within the networks of the brain.
New brain mapping tool produces higher resolution data during brain surgery
Researchers have developed a new device to map the brain during surgery and distinguish between healthy and diseased tissues.
Newborn baby brain scans will help scientists track brain development
Scientists have today published ground-breaking scans of newborn babies' brains which researchers from all over the world can download and use to study how the human brain develops.
New test may quickly identify mild traumatic brain injury with underlying brain damage
A new test using peripheral vision reaction time could lead to earlier diagnosis and more effective treatment of mild traumatic brain injury, often referred to as a concussion.
This is your brain on God: Spiritual experiences activate brain reward circuits
Religious and spiritual experiences activate the brain reward circuits in much the same way as love, sex, gambling, drugs and music, report researchers at the University of Utah School of Medicine.
Brain scientists at TU Dresden examine brain networks during short-term task learning
'Practice makes perfect' is a common saying. We all have experienced that the initially effortful implementation of novel tasks is becoming rapidly easier and more fluent after only a few repetitions.
Balancing time & space in the brain: New model holds promise for predicting brain dynamics
A team of scientists has extended the balanced network model to provide deep and testable predictions linking brain circuits to brain activity.
New view of brain development: Striking differences between adult and newborn mouse brain
Spikes in neuronal activity in young mice do not spur corresponding boosts in blood flow -- a discovery that stands in stark contrast to the adult mouse brain.
Map of teenage brain provides evidence of link between antisocial behavior and brain development
The brains of teenagers with serious antisocial behavior problems differ significantly in structure to those of their peers, providing the clearest evidence to date that their behavior stems from changes in brain development in early life, according to new research led by the University of Cambridge and the University of Southampton, in collaboration with the University of Rome Tor Vergata in Italy.

Related Brain Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Bias And Perception
How does bias distort our thinking, our listening, our beliefs... and even our search results? How can we fight it? This hour, TED speakers explore ideas about the unconscious biases that shape us. Guests include writer and broadcaster Yassmin Abdel-Magied, climatologist J. Marshall Shepherd, journalist Andreas Ekström, and experimental psychologist Tony Salvador.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#513 Dinosaur Tails
This week: dinosaurs! We're discussing dinosaur tails, bipedalism, paleontology public outreach, dinosaur MOOCs, and other neat dinosaur related things with Dr. Scott Persons from the University of Alberta, who is also the author of the book "Dinosaurs of the Alberta Badlands".