Saturday, March 18, 2017
Pain is not just a matter of nerves - NEUROSCIENCE
The sensation of pain occurs when neural pathways conduct excitation generated by tissue damage to the spinal cord, where the nociceptive information is extensively pre-processed. From there, the information is transmitted to the human brain, where the sensation of “pain” is finally created. This is the general belief. However, researchers from the Division of Neurophysiology at MedUni Vienna’s Center for Brain Research have now discovered that pain is not just a matter of nerves but that non-neuronal cells, the glial cells, are also involved in clinically relevant pain models and their activation is sufficient to amplify pain. The study has now been published in the leading journal “Science”.
Glial cells are the commonest type of cells in the human brain and spinal cord. They surround neurons but are distinct from them and play an important supporting role – for example, in material transport and metabolism or the fluid balance in the brain and spinal cord. #neuroscience #glialcells #humanbrain #research #synapticplasticity