The protein that plays a pivotal role in the transmission of messages within the brain and to other parts of the body has been identified by researchers in Britain.
Scientists at the University of Edinburgh said that knowing the protein's role in maintaining the function of nerve fibres would help in understanding neurodegenerative disorders.
"At any moment, tens of thousands of electrical impulses are transmitting messages between nerve cells in our brains," said Dr. Matthew Nolan, of the university's Center for Integrative Physiology. People suffering from epilepsy, dementia, multiple sclerosis and strokes have disrupted electrical impulses from the brain, and this can result in the wasting of muscles and difficulties in controlling movement.
"Identifying proteins that are critical for the precise initiation of these impulses will help unravel the complexities of how brains work and may lead to new insights into how brains evolved," Dr. Nolan concluded.