[Neuroscience] Re: Effects of weak electric fields on the activity of neurons and neuronal networks

Andy Resnick via neur-sci%40net.bio.net (by andy.resnick from op.case.edu)
Tue Nov 6 09:28:15 EST 2007

ayaz wrote:
> if you want the full text, you'll have to pay for it...
> http://rpd.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/106/4/321?maxtoshow=&HITS=10&hits=10&RESULTFORMAT=&andorexactfulltext=and&searchid=1077029641510_173&stored_search=&FIRSTINDEX=0&sortspec=relevance&volume=106&firstpage=321&resourcetype=1&journalcode=rpd
> Radiation Protection Dosimetry 106:321-323 (2003)
> © 2003 Oxford University Press
> Effects of weak electric fields on the activity of neurons and
> neuronal networks
> J.G.R. Jefferys, J. Deans, M. Bikson and J. Fox
> Electric fields applied to brain tissue will affect cellular
> properties. They will hyperpolarise the ends of cells closest to the
> positive part of the field, and depolarise ends closest to the
> negative. In the case of neurons this affects excitability. How these
> changes in transmembrane potential are distributed depends on the
> length constant of the neuron, and on its geometry; if the neuron is
> electrically compact, the change in transmembrane potential becomes an
> almost linear function of distance in the direction of the field.
> Neurons from the mammalian hippocampus, maintained in tissue slices in
> vitro, are significantly affected by fields of around 1-5 Vm-1.

Remarkable.  They present no actual data, summarize previous results 
with no way to decipher what was actually done, and make numerous 
unsubstantiated claims.

For example:

"More importantly, we were able to measure that transmembrane
potential at the cell body changed by an average
of 0.12 mV for each V m1 of applied field(16)A"

AFAIK, the action potential is around 100 mV- so they claim a 0.1% 
effect is meaningful and statistically significant.

But it *is* open source, so some would say this is a model effort.
Andrew Resnick, Ph.D.
Department of Physiology and Biophysics
Case Western Reserve University

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