Since 1893, scientists have known about the mysterious structure of neurons surrounding neurons, but the function of these networks is unknown. But a group of scientists at the University of Virginia, led by Harald Sontheimer, concluded that this network regulates electrical stimulation of the brain. According to Naked Science, a network disintegration can cause seizures.
Early researchers have made this finding in mice suffering from epilepsy caused by glioblastoma, a fatal brain cancer, the first symptom of which is convulsions. Glioblastoma is the only cancer with limited space. Because the skull blocks the cancer from spreading out, the tumor creates an excessively exciting chemical neurotransmitter (glutamate) that kills adjacent healthy cells, creating a space for growth.
In addition to glutamate, these tumors secrete enzymes that target the destruction of the surrounding extracellular matrix. A gel-like material fixes the brain cells in place. Neuroblastoma is very malignant and is known to spread to the body. The secreted enzyme is a kind of knife that can move freely while cutting cancer cells.
Surprisingly, scientists have observed how enzymes can attack neurons surrounding Gamma-aminobutyric acid to prevent seizures.
Italian neuroscientist Camillo Golgi was the first person to discover a neural network in 1893, but he misunderstood its function. Golgi called the network "corset" and said it was most likely to block the exchange of messages between neurons. Sontheimer's work contradicts this. Scientists, on the other hand, have discovered that networks support messaging. Neurons covered with perineuronal nets have the ability to store smaller membrane capacities and electrical charges. In other words, it can trigger pulses and recharge up to 2 times more than non-nerve neurons.
By applying enzymes to the brain without tumors, the researchers found that most of the enzymatic degradation perineuronal networks are sufficient to stimulate seizures – even when neurons remain intact, as they suddenly lose neuronal network, the results can be fatal.
Now the researcher's interest will be closer to making effective medicine by focusing on the role that the perineal network can regenerate in other forms of epilepsy (eg, head injury or brain infection).
"We have determined the secrets of 125 years of neurology! The underlying science is to maintain an open and cautious mind and to answer old and new questions."
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 50 million people worldwide suffer from epilepsy and one third of them are not vulnerable to known epilepsy procedures.