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Do Altered Potassium Channels Cause the Fasciculations and Cell Death in Motor Neurone Disease?

  • H. Bostock
  • M. K. Sharief
  • G. Reid
  • N. M. F. Murray

Abstract

Fasciculations due to spontaneous discharges of motor units, are a characteristic feature of motor neurone disease (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, ALS). They are multifocal in origin, arising from distal or proximal axon or soma in different motor neurones. To explore the nature of the altered membrane properties responsible for these discharges, we have measured the responses of the axons to subthreshold polarizing currents by the method of ‘threshold electrotonus’ (Bostock & Baker, 1988).

References

  1. Bostock, H. & Baker, M. (1988) Evidence for two types of potassium channel in human axons in vivo. Brain Res. 462, 354–358.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bostock, H., Baker, M. & Reid, G. (1991) Changes in excitability of human motor axons underlying post-ischaemic fasciculations: evidence for two stable states. J. Physiol. 441, 537–557.PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. Bostock
    • 1
  • M. K. Sharief
    • 2
  • G. Reid
    • 1
  • N. M. F. Murray
    • 2
  1. 1.Sobell Department of NeurophysiologyInstitute of NeurologyLondonUK
  2. 2.Department of Clinical NeurophysiologyNational Hospital for Neurology and NeurosurgeryLondonUK

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