Nerve cells in a brain region called the external globus pallidus (GPe) are essential for proper movement. To fully understand the movement difficulties of people with Parkinson’s disease, it is important to define the code of electrical impulses used by GPe cells in the healthy brain. In this new paper, OPDC scientists have discovered that the electrical activities of two types of GPe nerve cell signal movement, but the patterns of their impulses are strikingly different. To examine potential causes for these differences, the team traced the developmental origins of the two cell types and found that they are generated in different parts of the embryonic brain. The findings demonstrate how the origins of different types of nerve cell shape their function in the adult brain, and provide important new clues as to how inappropriate signalling these cells in Parkinson’s might result in movement difficulties.
Read the full paper here: http://www.cell.com/neuron/fulltext/S0896-6273(15)00203-2