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Neuro rehab insights

Astrocytes identified as master ‘conductors’ of the brain

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In the orchestra of the brain, the firing of each neuron is controlled by two notes - excitatory and inhibitory - that come from two distinct forms of a cellular structure called synapses.

Synapses are essentially the connections between neurons, transmitting information from one cell to the other. The synaptic harmonies come together to create the most exquisite music--at least most of the time.

When the music becomes discordant and a person is diagnosed with a brain disease, scientists typically look to the synapses between neurons to determine what went wrong. But a new study from Duke University neuroscientists suggests that it would be more useful to look at the white-gloved conductor of the orchestra - the astrocyte.

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