What are Astrocytes?

Doctor Brian Bacskai define astrocytes, or astroglia as brain cells that have an active structural role in keeping the brain together.

Astrocytes are a predominant cell type in the brain that are largely uncharacterized in terms of their function and role in how the brain actually works and processes signals. The word astrocyte or 'astroglia' comes from the word glue, and so they’ve been known to have a sort of structural role in keeping the brain together, but it’s quite clear that neurons alone are not responsible for the signaling that occurs in the brain. Astrocytes are definitely not passive in terms of brain function. Now exactly what their role is, is not completely described, but it’s clearly an active process. Whether they follow neuronal signaling or lead neuronal signaling, they have an independent network which is sometimes coupled and sometimes uncoupled.

astrocyte, cell, glia, astroglia, brian, bacskai

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