Age-related changes to ionic currents and excitability in the cerebral giant cells of the pond snail, 'Lymnaea stagnalis'

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


One of the major issues we will face over the next 50 years is an 'ageing population', and its associated burden of disease and disability. Included in these are the age-related neurological conditions such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and normal brain ageing. Our understanding of how neurones age in mammalian species is hampered by the complexity of the mammalian brain, and the obvious barriers to biophysical measurements from the neurones of humans. With a few possible exceptions, the ageing process is universal across the biosphere. This raises the possibility that studying the nervous system of simpler organisms can help to answer wider questions about age-related changes to mammalian neurones. One such organism is the pond snail Lymnaea stagnalis. The well-defined, and relatively simple feeding network of the Lymnaea Central Nervous System contains a pair of serotonergic modulatory interneurones, the cerebral giant cells (CGCs), which are known to be involved in the learning and memory process. These cells are also known to show age-related changes. The work presented in this thesis provides an insight into the mechanisms that underlie some of these changes.
Date of AwardOct 2012
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Brighton
SupervisorMark Yeoman (Supervisor) & Marcus Allen (Supervisor)

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