Bioscience

Plant-derived scavengers prowl the body for nerve toxins

November 23, 2010

By Flinn Foundation

[Source: ScienceDaily] – The brain is forever chattering to itself, via electrical impulses sent along its hard-wired neuronal “Ethernet.” These e-messages are translated into chemical transmissions, allowing communication across the narrow cleft separating one neuron from another or between neurons and their target cells. Of the many kinds of molecules involved in this lively chemical symposium, acetylcholine is among the most critical, performing a host of functions in the central and peripheral nervous system.

This delicate cholinergic design however is highly vulnerable. It can fall victim to inadvertent or deliberate poisoning by a class of compounds known as organophosphates — chemicals found in a range of pesticides as well as weaponized nerve agents.

For more information: Plant-Derived Scavengers Prowl the Body for Nerve Toxins