The Players: (From Wiki)
- Glutamate: Glutamate is the most abundant fast excitatory neurotransmitter in the mammalian nervous system. At chemical synapses, glutamate is stored in vesicles. Nerve impulses trigger release of glutamate from the pre-synaptic cell. In the opposing post-synaptic cell, glutamate receptors, such as the NMDA receptor, bind glutamate and are activated. Because of its role in synaptic plasticity, it is believed that glutamic acid is involved in cognitive functions like learning and memory in the brain.
- K+ and Ca2+: During an action potential, the "sodium potassium pump" actively transports potassium and sodium ions into and out of a cell.
- Glucose: (Glc), a monosaccharide (or simple sugar), is the most important carbohydrate in biology. The cell uses it as a source of energy and metabolic intermediate.
- Cerebral blood flow (CBF) is the amount of blood that passes through the brain at a given moment. The adult human brain uses about 20% of the blood put out by the heart at rest. In brain tissue, a biochemical cascade known as the ischemic cascade is triggered when the tissue becomes ischemic, potentially resulting in damage to and death of brain cells.
- Adenosine 5'-triphosphate (ATP) is a multifunctional nucleotide that is most important as a "molecular currency" of intracellular energy transfer. In this role ATP transports chemical energy within cells for metabolism.
Figure 1: Neurometabolic cascade: Overview - resulting in imbalance between glucose demands and regional CBF supply (vulnerable to SIS)
Figure 2: Neurometabolic cascade: Cellular