Imagine a big corporation board room filled with people all talking at once – this is the kind of information processed unconsciously by our brains, every second. So how do we deal with the chaos? Interneurons (pictured stained green; branching dendrites are seen coming from their bright cell bodies) are nerve cells that mediate the ‘talking’ between neurons. They have the ability to silence some, give more attention to others and get groups of neurons to synchronise and work together. Dysfunctional interneurons can lead to neurons talking when they shouldn't and could be linked to epilepsy, schizophrenia and Alzheimer's disease. Scientists are seeking ways to replace faulty interneurons and regulate nerves talking out of turn; research that could eventually lead to treatments for conditions like epilepsy.
BPoD stands for Biomedical Picture of the Day. Managed by the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences the website aims to engage everyone, young and old, in the wonders of biomedicine. Images are kindly provided for inclusion on this website through the generosity of scientists across the globe.
BPoD is also available in Catalan at www.bpod.cat with translations by the University of Valencia.