A research team at Hanyang University has found a crucial element to understand how the human brain develops.
(standup ed: mark)
"The research explains the relationship between a certain protein and the making of brain neurons."
The research team found that the protein called Hippocalcin, which exists only in the brain plays an indispensable role in neural development.
Along with the phospholipase D1 or PLD-1 enzyme encoded by the PLD1 gene the protein facilitates the creation of neural circuits that links brain neurons.
"We found alcohol consumption inhibits PLD1 signaling and affects growth of brain neurons, while concentrated substances such as lecithin do the opposite and promote cell differentiation of neural stem cells. The study is expected to facilitate the creation of future preventative treatments for neuro-developmental disorders."
Another local research team of Yonsei University found that when someone experiences pain, the thalamus, a specific part of the brain which deals with humans' sensory information of touch, taste, smell, vision and hearing, is the one emitting the pain signals.
The team found that anoctamin-2 helps mediate the level of pain from being delivered into the brain's core, the cerebrum, without affecting normal neural activity.
The discovery of this mechanism could help with the creation of new painkillers in the future that are less narcotic, don't build up tolerance, and have less side effects compared to current painkillers.
"The painkillers we use today are close to morphine, which affects normal neural activity and are targeted toward brain parts other than the thalamus. In comparison, the new painkillers would be aimed at reducing pain signals in the thalamus specifically."
The Yonsei team hopes to find new ways that could regulate the excretion of anoctamin-2, leading to the discovery of more information that could help create better and more effective painkillers.
Kim Ji-yeon, Arirang News.