AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 27, Number 2, 2018


Glutamate Plays Previously Unknown Role in Neuromuscular Development

For decades, scientists thought acetylcholine was the only neurotransmitter responsible for controlling how muscles and nerves are wired together during development. Turns out, they were wrong. Glutamate, the most common neurotransmitter in the brain, is also necessary. The team took a new approach to the old question of how the connections from the spinal cord to the muscles mature, says Kirkwood Personius, the paper’s lead author and a clinical associate professor of rehabilitation science in UB’s School of Public Health and Health Professions. Each muscle is made of many individual muscle fibers and, in adults, each of those muscle fibers is contacted by a single motor neuron. However, this simple arrangment is not what you see at birth. Instead, each muscle fiber is contacted by as many as 10 nerves. To read more, click here.

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