Department of Neurology, University of Washington Medical Center, WA, USA
Glial Physiology and Neurodegeneration
Title of the talk:
Ischemic and Hypoglycemic CNS White Matter Injury: Pathophysiology and Importance.
Dr. Ransom has three primary research interests: 1) glial cell physiology and function, 2) glial glycogen and brain energy metabolism, and 3) the pathophysiology of CNS white matter injury due to ischemia, anoxia or hypoglycemia. Using a variety of techniques, he has explored how astrocytes modulate brain extracellular [K+], pH, [lactate-] and [glutamate-], and how this affects the behavior of nearby neurons. He has shown that astrocyte glycogen in the CNS, and Schwann cell glycogen in the PNS, can be broken down to lactate-, which, in turn, can be passed to nearby axons where it serves as a fuel during hypoglycemia or increased neural activity. Dr. Ransom is a clinician-scientist and has developed an ex vivo model for studying how CNS white matter is injured by clinically-relevant insults, including ischemia, hypoglycemia or anoxia. His work on this topic is especially important because CNS white matter injury is very common in humans and has a different pathophysiology compared to how gray matter is injured.