The over-excitability of brain cells controlling our muscles has previously been observed in MND patients. Researchers from Rome, Italy led by Massimo Pieri aimed to determine if this over-excitability came about because of the processes happening inside each individual motor neurone or because of an interaction between motor neurones.
The researchers found that the individual SOD1 MND motor neurones from mice grown in a test tube showed dysfunctional electrical firing more often than that of normal mouse motor neurones. The research team say that this is the first time that overexcitability has been demonstrated in individual mutated neurones and that this opens up new prospects of understanding MND.
Source: International MND research update – June 2009, Dr Justin Yerbury for MNDRIA