Can neuroscience rescue these lost brains?
Multiple system atrophy is a progressive, fatal disorder that makes muscles stiff rigid and causes problems with movement, loss of coordination, and malfunction of internal body processes such as blood pressure and bladder control.
The parts of the brain that control movements and many internal body processes degenerate. Some symptoms resemble those of Parkinson disease, but internal body processes also malfunction.
Simple measures and drugs can help lessen symptoms, but the disorder is progressive and ultimately fatal. Multiple system atrophy usually begins when people are in their 50s. It affects about twice as many men as women. There are two types of multiple system atrophy MSA: MSA-C is characterized by loss of coordination and difficulty maintaining balance MSA-P is very similar to Parkinson disease except that tremor often does not develop and levodopa often does not relieve symptoms Both types involve autonomic nervous system dysfunction.
Although multiple system atrophy begins as one of these types, symptoms of the other type eventually develop. After about 5 years, symptoms tend to be similar regardless of which disorder developed first. Causes Multiple system atrophy results from degeneration of several parts of the brain and spinal cord: The basal ganglia collections of nerve cells at the base of the cerebrum, deep within the brainwhich help control voluntary muscle movements by balancing the actions of muscle groups that move the same muscles in opposite ways for example, a group that bends an arm and a group that straightens the arm The cerebellum, which coordinates voluntary movements particularly complex movements done simultaneously and helps maintain balance Areas that control the autonomic nervous system, which regulates involuntary body processes, such as how blood pressure changes in response to changes in posture The cause of the degeneration is unknown, but degeneration in multiple system atrophy probably results when alpha-synuclein changes shape and accumulates in support cells in the brain.
Alpha-synuclein is a protein in the brain that helps nerve cells communicate, but whose normal function is not yet fully understood. Abnormal alpha-synuclein can also accumulate in people with pure autonomic failureParkinson diseaseor Lewy body dementia.
REM rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder often occurs in people with disorders that involve accumulation of alpha-synuclein, including multiple system atrophy. Locating the Cerebellum and Basal Ganglia The cerebellum is located below the cerebrum just above the brain stem.
With information it receives from the cerebral cortex and the basal ganglia about the position of the limbs, the cerebellum helps the limbs move smoothly and accurately. The cerebral cortex is the convoluted layer of tissue that forms the outer surface of the cerebrum.
It contains most of the nerve cells in the nervous system.
The basal ganglia are collections of nerve cells located deep within the brain. They include the following structures: Caudate nucleus a C-shaped structure that tapers to a thin tail Putamen Globus pallidus located within the putamen Subthalamic nucleus The basal ganglia help smooth out muscle movements and coordinate changes in posture.A sense of gloom covered Korean cinema in the year , with fewer strong films than in previous years, local audiences beginning to cool on Korean film, exports showing a continued decline, and the film industry suffering through a recession of sorts.
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