Researchers discovered the fundamental process by which brains are built, according to a study published on May 30, 2018.
This study was conducted by the researchers at the King’s College London. This study is expected to be useful in understanding neurodevelopmental conditions such as autism and epilepsy. It also provides solutions to the mystery about how the delicate balance between different types of brain cells might be maintained across species with vastly different brain sizes.
The cerebral cortex in the human brain is responsible for many of our advanced abilities such as learning, memory and our ability to plan future actions. Excitatory and inhibitory neurons are the two types of brain cells, which is also called as ‘go’ and ‘no-go’ neurons. Excitatory ‘go’ neurons process the information and tell other neurons as to what they have to do. Inhibitory ‘no-go’ neurons is responsible for restricting the activity of excitatory neurons so that they don’t all go at the same time. Large number of ‘go’ leads to the over-firing of neurons, which is observed in people suffering from epilepsy, while too much ‘no-go’ causes cognitive problems.
Researchers have found methods to balance the number of ‘go’ and ‘no-go’ neurons by studying the brains of developing mice. One of the researchers said, “This study fills a big gap in our understanding of how the brain is built, explaining quite simply how the balance of excitatory and inhibitory neurons in the cerebral cortex has remained constant as mammals have evolved. It is probable that this process has been critical in allowing human brains to expand.”