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Why do nerves get a blood supply?

  1. Jun 4, 2010 #1
    Hello everyone,

    I like to know why nerves get a blood supply. Is it because they need ATP to open protein channel to carry out action potential, or is the extra cellular matrix of a neuron determined by the blood supply. If a neuron can not carry out cellular respiration, why would it cause permanent damage to the structure? What I'm asking is if there is a damage to a major artery in the brain and brain doesn't get much blood, why would the structure disintegrate. Is the phospholipid bilayer of cells maintaIned by ATP? Thanks :smile:
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 4, 2010 #2


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    A nerve is a bunch of axons. Axon is a part of a cell. A cell needs oxygen and "food"...
  4. Jun 8, 2010 #3


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    Good question!

    Neurons are very needy little things. Unlike some other cell types in your body they can't survive long without oxygen (though certain conditions can improve their oxygen deficient life spans, such as temperature).

    One the blood supply is cut off the clock is ticking. If the supply returns before the 'point of no return' then often significant neuroregeneration can happen; things like remyelination, regeneration of glia or axons etc.

    Depending on where the neurons in question are matters a lot. Neurons of the central nervous system (which includes your brain) aren't given to repair very often (though do under certain circumstances and during early development). In the peripheral nervous system the repair functions work quite well.
  5. Jun 8, 2010 #4


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    Neurons are fussy eaters, they prefer sugars and no fats, which if you think about needs a better blood supply to provide enough of.

    Low blood sugar reduces your mental capacity. 3 tea spoons of sugar is about all the brain needs for a whole day.
  6. Jun 8, 2010 #5
    The actual number for the average requirement of glucose in brain is ~130g of glucose / day, not 3 teaspoons.
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