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Give thanks this Thursday—and always
Monday, November 19, 2012

"neuroBLOGical" turns 1!
Sunday, November 4, 2012
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Sight without seeing: Balint's syndrome
Sunday, September 16, 2012
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Catnip fever: why your cat acts high
Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Paralyze your face, fight depression
Wednesday, August 1, 2012
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Seeing into the future? The neuroscience of déjà vu
Sunday, February 26, 2012

Your love is my drug
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
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Jordan Gaines
Neuroscience
Pennsylvania State University USA

A blog on biology, psychology, cognition, learning, memory, aging, and everything in between. Explaining recent discoveries in neuroscience, translated to language we can all understand!

My posts are presented as opinion and commentary and do not represent the views of LabSpaces Productions, LLC, my employer, or my educational institution.

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Your blog is perhaps one of the best pieces of science writings I have recently come across! Brilliant work ! I have been meaning to start something similar..now am inspired :) By the way- . . .Read More
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I'm starting as the Associate Director of the Genomic Analysis Facility at Duke University in two weeks!  Hopefully once things settle down I'll actually be able to write again and start recruitin. . .Read More
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Jan 07, 2011, 2:16pm
Views: 3560 | Comments: 0
I received an e-mail requesting that I write a follow-up to last week's blog post on multiple sclerosis (MS). I was asked to detail the immune-modulating therapies available for MS patients.

As a neuroscientist, the purpose of my original post was to explain the basic neurology behind the disease: what myelin is, what happens to myelin during MS, and why lack of myelin results in the symptoms that manifest. I also wanted to inform readers of the latest research in the field. My intention was not to leave out information or misinform, but given my lack of knowledge in other fields, I confined the blog post to my expertise.

Today I'll take off my brain hat and (do my best to) trade it in for an immunologist's.

Together, let's explore the therapies out there for those suffering this mysterious disorder.


Types of MS
Firstly, I'd like to outline the four types of multiple sclerosis:

1. Relapsing-remitting (RRMS): 75-80% of patients are initially diagnosed with RRMS. People with RRMS experience days- to weeks-long flare-ups, or "relapses," followed by periods of no symptoms, called "remission."

2. Secondary-progressive (SPMS): symptoms worsen over time in this type of MS, with or witho . . . More
Views: 1974 | Comments: 0
Montel Williams and 400,000 other Americans face it everyday. Richard Pryor was confined to a wheelchair in the last few years of his life because of it. Symptoms range from weakness to bladder problems to difficulty talking. Indeed, multiple sclerosis, or MS, is one of the most well-known yet mysterious neurological conditions we know about.

MS and myelin
MS is an inflammatory disorder affecting the central nervous system (brain/spinal cord) and its ability for nerve cells to communicate with one another.

Our individual nerve cells (neurons) have a fatty substance called myelin surrounding the long conducting axon fiber. If you picture the axon like an extremely long hot dog, myelin resembles hot dog buns lined up along its length.



Myelin allows neuron communication to occur much more rapidly. Instead of generating action potentials (rapid electrical changes) along each point in the axon, the action potential can "jump" over the myelin. Instead, action potentials are regenerated only at each node of Ranvier (see above), where there are breaks in the myelin sheath.

In MS, however, the body's immune system attacks the myelin sheath, causing it to break down and scar tissue to form. This process is c . . . More
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