Over the last century neurophysiology has made great progress, but the structure of most of the functions of the brain still remains a mystery. But, it is possible that one mystery related to the human nervous system become less. Because recently a team of scientists from the US have discovered the neurons that support the excitation of the Central nervous system. Or, if easier, are responsible for supporting and, if I may say so, the “work” of our consciousness.
According to the publication Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a team of researchers from the Rockefeller University, studying the structure of the neurons of the reticular formation, came across not quite normal CNS cells. For starters, explain what is the reticular formation. This part of the brain stem education that connects the brain and spinal cord, hence the name. The reticular formation responsible for cortical activation, cortical functions and exercises control over the reflex activity of the spinal cord (as is partly located here). In addition, the reticular formation influences emotional behavior plays a role in learning and memory, regulates phases of deep sleep and so on.
There are in the reticular formation of the entity called gigantocellular core (NGC). Studying it and taking advantage of the technology is retro-TRAP (if simplistic – research vessels), the experts found that in the neurons of the NGC is gene expression, which is produced by endothelial synthase nitric oxide (eNOS). This is an enzyme that produces nitric oxide, relaxing blood vessels, causing the tissue increases blood flow.
It is worth noting that none of the known types of neurons does not produce eNOS, and the cells of the NGC are very close to the blood vessels that allows them “to control and excite ourselves.” This allowed the scientists to conclude that they are fundamental in maintaining the excitation of the Central nervous system and the constant maintenance of consciousness “in good shape”. According to Donald Raffa, head of the Laboratory of neurobiology and behavior at the Rockefeller University,
“We believe that, since these neurons need more oxygen and glucose, they secrete nitric oxide in the nearest vessels, which supports their work.”