IUBio Biosequences .. Software .. Molbio soft .. Network News .. FTP

CNS Symptoms of a Theoretical Calcium Insufficiency

Radium glucegen at excite.com
Fri Oct 3 14:23:59 EST 2003

Matthew Kirkcaldie <Matthew.Kirkcaldie at deletethis.newcastle.edu.au> wrote in message news:<Matthew.Kirkcaldie-8EF247.09523503102003 at seagoon.newcastle.edu.au>...
> In article <464c821f.0310021152.1fcb4365 at posting.google.com>,
>  glucegen at excite.com (Radium) wrote:
> > Let say the calcium supply to these parts of the brain were suddenly
> > and completed lost. What symptoms would occur?
> Unconsciousness, death.

Death usually occurs only if parts of the brain controlling autonomic
activities (e.g. breathing, heart rate) stop working. There should be
no fatalities if the parts of the brain I asked about are affected.
There would be symptoms though. I am not sure they would be permanent.
Unlike glucose or oxygen deprivation, "calcium starvation" does not
brain cells. It just affects their communication. How it affects them
is something I don't know. In other words, would the symptoms be
positive (spasms (tonic or clonic), convulsions, hallucinations
[dealing with vision, hearing, balance, kinesthesia and coordination],
false memories, etc.) or negative (flaccid paralysis, loss of
perception [of vision, hearing, balance, kinesthesia, loss of
coordination], amnesia, etc.) or a combination of any from either

> I answered the question in my previous post.  
> Neurons cannot function without calcium because it is required for 
> synaptic transmission.  If it were only in the cortex I suppose a 
> vegetative state/coma might be possible, but with no activity from the 
> cortex at all, I doubt it.  

AFAIK, the neurons cannot recover from metabolic exhaustion (lack of
glucose and/or oxygen) but they can recover from relaxation (i.e.
total absence of excitation). Metabolic exhaustion can pemanently
injure, if not kill, neurons. Relaxation just puts them "sleep" but
they "awaken" when excited with stimulation. Relaxing neurons does not
directly injure them.

>Why are you asking about an impossible 
> scenario?

Just in it for the science. Interested in the relationship between
calcium and the brain.

>          Matthew.

More information about the Neur-sci mailing list

Send comments to us at biosci-help [At] net.bio.net