Intended for healthcare professionals


Counting glial cells . . . and other stories

BMJ 2018; 360 doi: (Published 16 March 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;360:k1099


Until recently, it was thought that glial cells outnumbered neurones by 10 to one in the human brain. A new counting method, known as isotopic fractionation, now estimates the ratio as one to one (Physiolog Rev doi:10.1152/physrev.00042.2016). Astrocytes are highly variable in their morphology and express a large number of receptors, ion channels, and membrane transporters. But, beyond a rather vague notion that they provide homoeostasis and support for neurones, we still don’t understand much about what glial cells actually do.

Intravenous paracetamol

Oral paracetamol is mainly absorbed from the small bowel by …

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