Stimulating!

Soooo, I have my oral viva coming up in June and it’s back to the books (doesn’t feel like I left them). Besides the usual pharmacology, it’s back to basics with A & P so I’ve decided to begin with your friend and mine, the nervous system. Yes, all the good stuff that makes you itch, twitch, fight, flee and develop those annoying habits your friends hate. Probably boring to most people, but I’m finding it rather stimulating – no pun intended. Most of it’s revision, but there’s a certain amount of gap-filling going on too so it’s all time well spent.

Anyway, today I’d like to talk about gap junctions. These little guys are a type of electrical synapse formed between one neuron and another. Electrical current in the form of ions flows directly from one neuron to another through the junction. They can depolarise and generate an action potential simultaneously. Pretty cool, especially when it comes to understanding how Methoxyflurane works. Why, because Methoxy alters the opening and closing times of the gap junctions. It shortens the opening time, and prolongs the closing time, thereby altering the transmission of pain signals. Cool huh!

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