NeuRA Profile 2014 - page 11

Scientists in the team ledbyProf
GeorgePaxinosworked together ona
two-year project tomap thenumber and
distributionofmotor neurons in the
mouse spinal cord. The image featured
herearecell bodiesofmotor neurons;
thepointsof light aredyeparticles that
haveaccumulated in thecell during the
labellingprocess and thedark regions
are thecell nuclei.
Themapswill assist researchers to
pinpoint changes in thenumber of
motor neurons that occur during the
onset andprogressionof thedisease.
Whileclinicians can track the
progressionof thediseaseviachanges
inpatients’ behaviour andmovement,
thismethod is inexact. Anobjective
measureof diseaseprogression –
bymeasuringchanges in thenumber
anddistributionofmotor neurons in
the spinal cord –wouldhelp researchers
better understandhow thedisease
progressesonamicroscopic level.
This researchmayhelp todevelop
treatments that slowor evenhalt the
progressionofmotor neuronedisease.
Motorneuronedisease isan invariably fatal
condition that progressivelyaffects the function
of themotorneurons in the spinal cord, impacting
aperson’sability tomove, breatheand swallow.
Cell bodiesofmotor neurons.
Capturingmotor
neurons
NeuRAProfile 2014
Shared goals
11
This researchmayhelp to
develop treatments that slow
or evenhalt theprogression
ofmotor neuronedisease.
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