Projects per year
According to the theory of neuronal health, neurons exist in a spectrum of states ranging from highly resilient to vulnerable. An unhealthy neuron may be rendered dysfunctional or non-viable by an insult that would ordinarily be non-toxic to a healthy neuron. Over the years it has become clear that a neuron's health is subject to dynamic regulation by electrical or synaptic activity. This review highlights recently identified activity dependent signalling events that boost neuronal health through the transcriptional control of pro-apoptotic and anti-apoptotic genes, the enhancement of antioxidant defences, and the regulation of mitochondrial and neurotrophic factor availability. Furthermore, activity dependent signals have recently been shown to influence a variety of events specific to individual neurodegenerative diseases, which will also be highlighted.