Tag Archives: myelin

Nature Neuroscience: Focus on Glia

Blogging on Peer-Reviewed ResearchEver since I started to learn about brains, back in the mid 1980s, from some really brainy brain experts like Terry Deacon and Joe Marcus, I always knew that glial cells were important. But I now read in current material in Nature Neuroscience, that “A decade ago, glia were the neglected stepchildren of neuroscience. Although glia outnumber neurons by about ten to 1 in the adult human brain, providing support for neurons has traditionally been viewed as their primary function. Glial biology has come into its own recently, as researchers have shown that glia are critical for the development of the nervous system and have key roles in various neurodegenerative disorders” (Aamodt 2007). So now I am even more impressed with Terry and Joe’s insights.Essentially, Glia do all the things that happen in the brain except the actual brain circuitry. Filtering, cleaning, structural support, repair of neurons, and so on. They also can do bad things and cause some neruopathies. This sudden (well, this decade anyway) realization of the importance of glial cells prompted piles of research, and this research is being highlighted in the current issue of Nature Neurobiology. The purpose of this blog entry is to provide you with a summary of that issue. Unless you subscribe, you can’t see it, but there area few links that are available to you here. Continue reading Nature Neuroscience: Focus on Glia