In this study, published in Science Advances, the researchers studied the effect of this high metabolic burden on other types of nerves. They say that this investigation will be helpful in better understanding the fuel management of the human brain, and it will also reveal why our brain is so fragile in terms of this fuel supply, a puzzle of our body’s energy management. It was bothering me for a long time.
The human brain spends ten times more than the energy consumption of the whole body. It uses 20 percent of the energy from the average person’s food when he is resting. But why this happened was not yet known. It was essential for human neuroscience to know this mystery why the brain needs so much energy even when inactive. Now the answer has been found.
Role of a particular neuron
Scientists have discovered a hidden neuron in the brain that consumes a considerable amount of fuel. When a cell in our brain sends a signal to another neuron, the reason can do so through the space between the two, called a synapse.
Messages via neurotransmitters
First, a neuron sends sac-like blisters to its tails so that they can reach very close to the synapse. These blisters are drawn into the neurotransmitters of the neuron, which act as a cover or envelope for the message. These filled envelopes are then carried to the edge of the neuron, where they meet the lining and eventually reach the synapse.
Energy consumption in the active brain
Upon reaching the empty space at the synapse, the transmitter attaches to the receptors or receptors of the next cell, and thus this process continues. Scientists were already familiar with this fundamental process of nerves, in which a lot of brain energy is used. The nerve endings or terminals near the synapse cannot hold molecules of this much energy. This means that the nerves have to generate their own energy for this process.
What is an inactive state?
This is the reason why an active mind consumes so much energy. But why does energy continue to be consumed when this system is silent or not active. To know this, researchers did many experiments on the endpoints of the nerve. In this, they compared the metabolic state of the synapse in both active and inactive conditions.
Role of ‘pump’
The researchers found that even when the terminals were not working to forward the message, the blisters in which the message went still needed a lot of energy. They found that the ‘pump’, which works to send protons forward from the blisters and pull them in, never rests. Due to which he constantly needs energy. This ‘pump’ is responsible for the metabolic energy consumption of the synapse.
The state of being always ready
Researchers say that there has been a leak in this ‘pump’. There is a continuous release of protons in the synaptic vesicles, and this happens even when they are full of neurotransmitters and even when the neuron is inactive. This metabolic state is always ready with many synapses and hundreds of blisters in the neuron terminal. Due to this, a lot of energy or fuel is consumed.
In this study, published in Science Advances, the researchers studied the effect of this high metabolic burden on other types of nerves. They say that this investigation will be helpful in better understanding the fuel management of the human brain, and it will also explain why our brain is so fragile in terms of this fuel supply.