Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Human-like Brain Disturbances In Insects: Locusts Shed Light On Migraines, Stroke And Epilepsy

Date:
July 3, 2009
Source:
Queen's University
Summary:
A similarity in brain disturbance between insects and people suffering from migraines, stroke and epilepsy points the way toward new drug therapies to address these conditions.

Queen's biologists are learning from locusts how the human brain may be manipulated to alleviate disease.
Credit: Photo courtesy of Gary Armstrong

A similarity in brain disturbance between insects and people suffering from migraines, stroke and epilepsy points the way toward new drug therapies to address these conditions.

Related Articles


Queen's University biologists studying the locust have found that these human disorders are linked by a brain disturbance during which nerve cells shut down. This also occurs in locusts when they go into a coma after exposure to extreme conditions such as high temperatures or lack of oxygen.

The Queen's study shows that the ability of the insects to resist entering the coma, and the speed of their recovery, can be manipulated using drugs that target one of the cellular signaling pathways in the brain.

"This suggests that similar treatments in humans might be able to modify the thresholds or severity of migraine and stroke," says Gary Armstrong, who is completing his PhD research in Biology professor Mel Robertson's laboratory. "What particularly excites me is that in one of our locust models, inhibition of the targeted pathway completely suppresses the brain disturbance in 70 per cent of animals," adds Dr. Robertson.

The Queen's research team previously demonstrated that locusts go into a coma as a way of shutting down and conserving energy when conditions are dangerous. The cellular responses in the locust are similar to the response of brain cells at the onset of a migraine.

Noting that it's hard to drown an insect – due to their ability to remain safely in a coma under water for several hours – Mr. Armstrong says, "It's intriguing that human neural problems may share their mechanistic roots with the process insects use to survive flash floods."

The Queen's study is published in the current edition of the Journal of Neuroscience. Other researchers on the team are Corinne Rodgers and Tomas Money who are also in Dr. Robertson's laboratory. The research was supported by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Queen's University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Queen's University. "Human-like Brain Disturbances In Insects: Locusts Shed Light On Migraines, Stroke And Epilepsy." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 July 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090702170207.htm>.
Queen's University. (2009, July 3). Human-like Brain Disturbances In Insects: Locusts Shed Light On Migraines, Stroke And Epilepsy. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090702170207.htm
Queen's University. "Human-like Brain Disturbances In Insects: Locusts Shed Light On Migraines, Stroke And Epilepsy." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090702170207.htm (accessed April 19, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Our Love Of Puppy Dog Eyes Explained By Science

Our Love Of Puppy Dog Eyes Explained By Science

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2015) Researchers found a spike in oxytocin occurs in both humans and dogs when they gaze into each other&apos;s eyes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find Link Between Gestational Diabetes And Autism

Scientists Find Link Between Gestational Diabetes And Autism

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2015) Researchers who analyzed data from over 300,000 kids and their mothers say they&apos;ve found a link between gestational diabetes and autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Video Messages Help Reassure Dementia Patients

Video Messages Help Reassure Dementia Patients

AP (Apr. 17, 2015) Family members are prerecording messages as part of a unique pilot program at the Hebrew Home in New York. The videos are trying to help victims of Alzheimer&apos;s disease and other forms of dementia break through the morning fog of forgetfulness. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Common Pain Reliever Might Dull Your Emotions

Common Pain Reliever Might Dull Your Emotions

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2015) Each week, millions of Americans take acetaminophen to dull minor aches and pains. Now researchers say it might blunt life&apos;s highs and lows, too. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins