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A Multiphasic Continuum Model of Cortical Spreading Depression

Tuesday, February 13, 2018 - 9:00am - 10:00am
Lind 305
Rosemary O'Connell (University of Minnesota, Twin Cities)
Cortical spreading depression (SD) is a spreading disruption in brain ionic homeostasis during which neurons experience complete and prolonged depolarizations. We perform simulations with a model of SD treating brain tissue as a triphasic continuum of neurons, glia and the extracellular space. A thermodynamically consistent incorporation of the major biophysical effects, including ionic electrodiffusion and osmotic water flow, allow for the computation of important physiological variables including the extracellular voltage (DC) shift. A systematic parameter study reveals that glia can act as both a disperser and buffer of potassium in SD propagation and have a significant effect on the DC shift. Additional investigation incorporating NMDA receptors into the model shows they play a similar role to that of the persistent Na+ channel, which has been widely used in models of SD despite concerns regarding the biological accuracy.