Richard A. Muscat

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Several recent studies have emphasized a crucial role for the nitrergic system in movement control and the pathophysiology of the basal ganglia (BG). These observations are supported by anatomical evidence demonstrating the presence of nitric oxide synthase (NOS) in all the basal ganglia nuclei. In fact, nitrergic terminals have been reported to make(More)
Stroke is a complex and devastating neurological condition with limited treatment options. Brain edema is a serious complication of stroke. Early edema formation can significantly contribute to infarct formation and thus represents a promising target. Aquaporin (AQP) water channels contribute to water homeostasis by regulating water transport and are(More)
Nicotine is one of the most addictive drugs of abuse. Tobacco smoking is a major cause of many health problems, and is the first preventable cause of death worldwide. Several findings show that nicotine exerts significant aversive as well as the well-known rewarding motivational effects. Less certain is the anatomical substrate that mediates or enables(More)
Episodic ataxia type 1 (EA1) is an autosomal dominant neurological disorder characterized by myokymia and attacks of ataxic gait often precipitated by stress. Several genetic mutations have been identified in the Shaker-like K(+) channel Kv1.1 (KCNA1) of EA1 individuals, including V408A, which result in remarkable channel dysfunction. By inserting the(More)
Oligodendrocytes (OLs), the myelin-forming cells of the central nervous system, form a functional unit with axons and play a crucial role in axonal integrity. An episode of hypoxia-ischemia causes rapid and severe damage to these particularly vulnerable cells via multiple pathways such as overactivation of glutamate and ATP receptors, oxidative stress, and(More)
Performing computation inside living cells offers life-changing applications, from improved medical diagnostics to better cancer therapy to intelligent drugs. Due to its bio-compatibility and ease of engineering, one promising approach for performing in-vivo computation is DNA strand displacement. This paper introduces computer architects to DNA strand(More)
Interferon-alpha(IFN-alpha) is used clinically in the treatment of several pathologies such as hepatitis C and various cancers. The positive therapeutic potential is however often limited by negative secondary effects which include major depression, one of the cardinal symptoms of which is anhedonia which has been operationalized as a decreased sensitivity(More)
Compelling evidence has shown a pivotal role of dopaminergic function in drug addiction. Recently, the Habenula (Hb) has attracted a great deal of attention as another target for nicotine in the brain because of its role in regulating dopamine (DA), gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and serotonin (5-HT) systems. Nicotine acts binding to acetylcholine receptors(More)
Although several studies have emphasized a crucial role for the serotonergic system in the control of hippocampal excitability, the role of serotonin (5-HT) and its receptors in normal and pathologic conditions, such as temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE), is still unclear. The present study was therefore designed firstly to investigate the acute effect of(More)
The mitochondrial chaperonin Hsp60 is a ubiquitous molecule with multiple roles, constitutively expressed and inducible by oxidative stress. In the brain, Hsp60 is widely distributed and has been implicated in neurological disorders, including epilepsy. A role for mitochondria and oxidative stress has been proposed in epileptogenesis of temporal lobe(More)