|MadSci Network: Neuroscience|
Well, it depends on how it's administered. MSG obviously has two components - sodium and glutamate. The balance of sodium inside and outside neurons is necessary for the generation of action potentials, and so direct application of MSG could disturb that. In addition, glutamate functions as an excitatory neurotransmitter, the most common in the brain. There are many different kinds of glutamate receptors, and they have been the focus of an incredible amount of research. You might look up "NMDA receptors" "AMPA receptors" and "Kainate receptors." Those are the major subclasses. In response to your question, though, too much glutamatergic activity at the synapse often leads to the death of the postsynaptic neuron. This phenomenon is known as "excitotoxicity" and is thought by many to be implicated in various types of brain damage, including stroke and shock. Good luck in your research. Please email me at email@example.com if you have more questions or need recommendations for informational resources. :) Noah Raizman Francis W. Parker Charter Essential School Devens, MA
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