Jul 14, 2009

Primary brain targets of nerve agents: the role of the amygdala in comparison to the hippocampus

V Aroniadou-AnderjaskaM F M Braga


Exposure to nerve agents and other organophosphorus acetylcholinesterases used in industry and agriculture can cause death, or brain damage, producing long-term cognitive and behavioral deficits. Brain damage is primarily caused by the intense seizure activity induced by these agents. Identifying the brain regions that respond most intensely to nerve agents, in terms of generating and spreading seizure activity, along with knowledge of the physiology and biochemistry of these regions, can facilitate the development of pharmacological treatments that will effectively control seizures even if administered when seizures are well underway. Here, we contrast the pathological (neuronal damage) and pathophysiological (neuronal activity) findings of responses to nerve agents in the amygdala and the hippocampus, the two brain structures that play a central role in the generation and spread of seizures. The evidence so far suggests that exposure to nerve agents causes significantly more damage in the amygdala than in the hippocampus. Furthermore, in in vitro brain slices, the amygdala generates prolonged, seizure-like neuronal discharges in response to the nerve agent soman, at a time when the hippocampus generates only interictal-like a...Continue Reading

Mentioned in this Paper

Genus Hippocampus
Structure of Hippocampal Formation
Entire Hippocampus
Body Fluid Discharge
Non-epileptic Convulsion
Brain Damage, Chronic

Related Feeds

Amygdala and Midbrain Dopamine

The midbrain dopamine system is widely studied for its involvement in emotional and motivational behavior. Some of these neurons receive information from the amygdala and project throughout the cortex. When the circuit and transmission of dopamine is disrupted symptoms may present. Here is the latest research on the amygdala and midbrain dopamine.

Amygdala: Sensory Processes

Amygdalae, nuclei clusters located in the temporal lobe of the brain, play a role in memory, emotional responses, and decision-making. Here is the latest research on sensory processes in the amygdala.