New type of nerve cell discovered in the brain


Lord of Penmai
Jul 5, 2011
New type of nerve cell discovered in the brain

Scientists have identified a previously unknown group of nerve cells in the brain that regulate cardiovascular functions such as heart rhythm and blood pressure.

Scientists at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, in collaboration with colleagues in Germany and the Netherlands found that the nerve cells, also known as 'neurons', develop in the brain with the aid of thyroid hormone, which is produced in the thyroid gland.

The new study in mice found that thyroid hormone also affects the heart indirectly, through the newly discovered neurons.

"This discovery opens the possibility of a completely new way of combating cardiovascular disease," said Jens Mittag, group leader at the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology at Karolinska Institutet.

Patients in whom the function of the thyroid gland is disturbed and who therefore produce too much or too little thyroid hormone, thus risk developing problems with these nerve cells.

This in turn has an effect on the function of the heart, leading to cardiovascular disease.

It is well-known that patients with untreated hyperthyroidism (too high a production of thyroid hormone) or hypothyroidism (too low a production of thyroid hormone) often develop heart problems.

It has previously been believed that this was solely a result of the hormone affecting the heart directly but the new study found that thyroid hormone also plays a part in it.

"If we learn how to control these neurons, we will be able to treat certain cardiovascular problems like hypertension through the brain. This is, however, still far in the future," Mittag said in a statement.

"A more immediate conclusion is that it is of utmost importance to identify and treat pregnant women with hypothyroidism, since their low level of thyroid hormone may harm the production of these neurons in the foetus, and this may in the long run cause cardiovascular disorders in the offspring," Mittag said.

The study was published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.


Ruler's of Penmai
Registered User
Jul 26, 2012
Dear Vijigermany, you have provided a very good information regarding the new discovery of nerve cell neurons and you have given all the relevant informations on the subject. thanks

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