The findings suggest that therapeutics targeting the path between two critical brain regions, the amygdala and the nucleus accumbens, represent potential treatments for addiction and other neuropsychiatric diseases.
Anton, a member of the Neuroscience Center at UNC and the Department of Cell and Molecular Physiology, was awarded the grant for his research in the mapping of neuronal placement in the developing cerebral cortex.
Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have pinpointed a crucial function for a key player in the development of the nervous system. They found that this player — a protein called Erk – is necessary for nerve fibers to be wrapped with an insulating substance called myelin, which allows messages to be sent from the brain to the peripheral limbs and back again.
New research from the Bhat lab describes a key molecular mechanism in nerve fibers that ensures the rapid conductance of nervous system impulses. The findings appear online Jan. 27, 2011 in the journal Neuron.