Neural dynamics during anoxia and the “wave of death”


Zandt, Bas-Jan and Haken, Bennie ten and Dijk, J. Gert van and Putten, Michel J.A.M van (2011) Neural dynamics during anoxia and the “wave of death”. PLoS ONE, 6 (7). e22127. ISSN 1932-6203

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Abstract:Recent experiments in rats have shown the occurrence of a high amplitude slow brain wave in the EEG approximately 1 minute after decapitation, with a duration of 5–15 s (van Rijn et al, PLoS One 6, e16514, 2011) that was presumed to signify the death of brain neurons. We present a computational model of a single neuron and its intra- and extracellular ion concentrations, which shows the physiological mechanism for this observation. The wave is caused by membrane potential oscillations, that occur after the cessation of activity of the sodium-potassium pumps has lead to an excess of extracellular potassium. These oscillations can be described by the Hodgkin-Huxley equations for the sodium and potassium channels, and result in a sudden change in mean membrane voltage. In combination with a high-pass filter, this sudden depolarization leads to a wave in the EEG. We discuss that this process is not necessarily irreversible
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Copyright:© 2011 The Author(s)
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