Writing by

Tania Melnyczuk

A red card rule
A red card rule

Any Minister or Member of Parliament who uses a logical fallacy should get a yellow or red card like in rugby. The only problem is…

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Action potential and ion channels in axons

Action potential and ion channels in axons

Image: One of my two neuron earrings (can’t find the other one right now); a gift from a friend, bought from Taylor Custom

I am having a bad day, because I am too tired to do anything properly. But hey, here’s a bit of learning material to cheer me up. I learned a whole lot of new things from this SlideShare. Things like: ion channels can reside in axons; and some axons have glial cells insulating them. Basically, I just learned a whole lot about how neurotransmission works.

This rabbithole actually started here, with my confirmation bias urging me to follow that white rabbit which they mentioned: sodium channel blockers are helpful for some kinds of cramps. See, I know that in sensory overstimulation, it’s not actually about having too little potassium in your blood, it’s about intracellular potassium, and that is (in part) determined by how well your ion channels are working. So the question I had that led me to this SlideShare was: aren’t muscle cramps (in the presence of sufficient blood magnesium, etc.) actually a sign of some kind of (congenital or acquired) channelopathy? Surely over time, as we age, our telomeres slough off and the proteins our bodies produce aren’t as good as they were before, so older people start developing these problems which are not directly related to generalised electrolyte deficiencies, but rather to localised deficiencies?

I don’t know the answer yet. But this rabbithole is connecting to another one I have for the future, after I have finished Project K: a study on autistic apraxia. Yes, this is different, it’s moving from sensory issues to motor issues, but it there’s a huge human rights aspect to this, which is of life-and-death importance. I’m told that it’s all in the brain. I want to understand the molecular and cell biology, though, and what can be done to optimise that system.

Marked to read

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7534598