why study neurology?

mat mats_trash at hotmail.com
Sun Jan 13 11:25:32 EST 2002

Though admittedly not an expert of any kind in this area (or any
other!) I would be weary of saying that Synpatic Plasticity = Memory
and even more weary of saying that CREB encodes memories.  You can
only begin to talk about higher functions such as memory at a circuit
or systems level.  Though of course CREB is important in memory as
Kandel showed in Aplysia, in humans the situation is far more complex
than just that.  I would not think that a synapse can be regarded as
encoding a bit of information similar to a transistor in a CPU.  That
is taking a far to simplistic view of neurones.

Its the same kind of problem as when people say 'serotonin receptors
are responsible for mood/depressive state' because SSRIs help in
depression.  It is not the receptor proteins themsevles, but the part
they play in the brain's systems that is important.

By the way there are numerous other mechanisms of synaptic plasticity.
 Some require protein synthesis e.g. CREB, while others don't. 
NMDA-receptor mediated potentiation is just one example.

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