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Group 1: Neurotoxin Background and Applications in Neuroscience – Exposure to neurotoxins has been a part of human history for thousands of years. – Nervous […]

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Group 1: Neurotoxin Background and Applications in Neuroscience

– Exposure to neurotoxins has been a part of human history for thousands of years.
– Nervous tissue is highly susceptible to disruption by neurotoxins.
– Neurotoxins disrupt or destroy necessary components in the nervous system.
– Neurotoxins are diverse in chemical properties and functions.
– They can be useful in neuroscience to understand the complex nervous system.

Group 2: Mechanisms of Neurotoxins and Protection Mechanisms

– Neurotoxins inhibit neuron control over ion concentrations.
– They can target neural components specifically.
– Blood-brain barrier (BBB) protects the brain from toxins.
– Astrocytes and choroid plexus provide layers of protection against toxin absorption.
– Inhibition by neurotoxins can range from membrane depolarization to inter-neuron communication.

Group 3: Research, Testing, and Mechanisms of Activity

– Extensive research has identified environmental neurotoxins.
– Specific protocols are developed for testing neurotoxic effects of compounds.
– In vitro systems offer improvements over in vivo systems.
– Neurotoxins inhibit neuron cellular processes.
– Onset of symptoms varies between toxins.

Group 4: Specific Neurotoxins and Their Actions

– Tetrodotoxin (TTX) inhibits sodium channel function.
– Tetraethylammonium (TEA) inhibits potassium channels in neurons.
– Chlorotoxin in scorpion venom inhibits chloride channels.
– Conotoxins from cone snails inhibit calcium channels.
– Botulinum toxin inhibits acetylcholine release at neuromuscular junction.

Group 5: Medical Implications and Research Areas

– Neurotoxins have potential medical applications.
– They are being investigated for treating neurological disorders.
– Understanding neurotoxins can lead to developing treatments.
– Active research areas include the effects of neurotoxins on the nervous system.
– Implications of neurotoxins for neurological disorders are significant.

Neurotoxin (Wikipedia)

Neurotoxins are toxins that are destructive to nerve tissue (causing neurotoxicity). Neurotoxins are an extensive class of exogenous chemical neurological insults that can adversely affect function in both developing and mature nervous tissue. The term can also be used to classify endogenous compounds, which, when abnormally contacted, can prove neurologically toxic. Though neurotoxins are often neurologically destructive, their ability to specifically target neural components is important in the study of nervous systems. Common examples of neurotoxins include lead, ethanol (drinking alcohol), glutamate, nitric oxide, botulinum toxin (e.g. Botox), tetanus toxin, and tetrodotoxin. Some substances such as nitric oxide and glutamate are in fact essential for proper function of the body and only exert neurotoxic effects at excessive concentrations.

Neurotoxins can be found in a number of organisms, including some strains of cyanobacteria, that can be found in algal blooms or washed up on shore in a green scum.

Neurotoxins inhibit neuron control over ion concentrations across the cell membrane, or communication between neurons across a synapse. Local pathology of neurotoxin exposure often includes neuron excitotoxicity or apoptosis but can also include glial cell damage. Macroscopic manifestations of neurotoxin exposure can include widespread central nervous system damage such as intellectual disability, persistent memory impairments, epilepsy, and dementia. Additionally, neurotoxin-mediated peripheral nervous system damage such as neuropathy or myopathy is common. Support has been shown for a number of treatments aimed at attenuating neurotoxin-mediated injury, such as antioxidant and antitoxin administration.

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