Tuesday, August 15, 2006
Imagine being able to answer "I'm the only one in the world that can answer this question right now."
We had one of the doctors from the uni come up and give us a tutorial on neurology. One of the topics was epilepsy. After having been through the generalised epilepsies and their classification, one of us asked the professor, So why do generalised seizures occur??
A glint came into his eye, the corners of his lips tipped upwards, and, dare i say it, a few less creases in his face disappeared. He answered that he was the only person in the world who can give an answer to this question. As of February, his research group has discovered how and why generalised seizures occur.. and it was "the most exciting moment in his life".
Apparently, it's not the neurons which mysteriously set each other of and cause abnormal brain activity, but astrocytes- the cells which support and regulate the neuronal environment in order for nerve conduction to work properly! It's all to do with astrocyte foot processes swelling because of increased stimulation to the brain, which means that they are inundated with "neuronal mess" (so to speak...) to clear up. Once they have had enough, the astrocytes end up spewing up all sorts of neural transmitter chemicals which set off generalised seizures.
Just the look on his face when he was explaining his discovery was inspiring.
He just loves what he's doing, and where he is in life.
I wonder if i'll ever get there?
If what i'm doing is the right thing?
I want to get there, but i don't know how...