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Computer simulation study of the effects of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis on the dynamical behavior of mathematical models of lower motor neurons

Grant number: 15/14917-9
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): November 01, 2015
Effective date (End): August 31, 2017
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Biomedical Engineering - Bioengineering
Principal Investigator:Leonardo Abdala Elias
Grantee:Débora Elisa da Costa Matoso
Host Institution: Faculdade de Engenharia Elétrica e de Computação (FEEC). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil


Mathematical modeling and computer simulations have been widely used in the neural sciences to provide theoretical/conceptual foundations on the mechanisms involved in the functioning of the nervous system. Specifically, mathematical models of alpha motor neurons (MNs) have supported investigations on the dynamical behavior of individual cells under different experimental conditions. Also, a population of MN models has been used to represent motor nuclei so as to study the muscle force control. Recent computational neuroscience studies proposed complex mathematical models of MNs with morphological, biophysical, and electrophysiological features of animal models of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). These MN models have aided the understanding of different mechanisms operating at the onset and during the progression of this neurodegenerative disease, which affects motor neurons. This research project aimed at developing new biologically plausible and computationally efficient MN models that encompass the main geometrical, electrotonic and electrophysiological characteristics of animal models of ALS. These new models would advance the understanding of underlying mechanisms of ALS from a single-cell standpoint. Additionally, due to their computational efficiency these models may be used in future multi-scale models of the neuromuscular system intended to investigate the control/generation of muscle force in ALS patients.

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
LEONARDO ABDALA ELIAS; DÉBORA ELISA DA COSTA MATOSO; RENATO NAVILLE WATANABE; ANDRÉ FABIO KOHN. Perspectives on the modeling of the neuromusculoskeletal system to investigate the influence of neurodegenerative diseases on sensorimotor control. Res. Biomed. Eng., v. 34, n. 2, p. 176-186, . (15/14917-9, 15/21819-3, 17/11464-9)
Academic Publications
(References retrieved automatically from State of São Paulo Research Institutions)
MATOSO, Débora Elisa da Costa. Computational modeling of motor neurons to study the biophysical changes caused by the amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. 2017. Master's Dissertation - Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Faculdade de Engenharia Elétrica e de Computação Campinas, SP.

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