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- Define the following phrases and terms associated with the signs and symptoms of Mr. Westwood’s TTX poisoning: diaeresis,motor dysfunction, parenthesis,antibiotic, hypoventilating, bradycardia, gastric lavage, oxygen saturation.
- As mentioned in the case description, tetrodotoxin is a molecule that blocks voltage-gated sodium ion channels. What is a voltage-gated sodium ion channel and what is its function?
- When nerve cells are at rest, there is an unequal amount of positive and negative charges on either side of a nerve cell membrane. This charge difference creates an electrical potential. Describe how the resting membrane potential (resting potential) is generated.
- What is happening to the electrical potential of a neuron when it generates an action potential? What is the function of the action potential in neurons?
- Describe the role of sodium ions and sodium channels in generating an action potential.
- What would happen to a neuron if it was exposed to tetrodotoxin? Be specific regarding its effect on the ability of a neuron to communicate.
- Now that you have addressed some of the basic biology of this case, explain why Dr. Westwood experienced numbness after eating the puffer fish meal.
- Paralysis is a term used to describe the loss of muscle function. If tetrodotoxin’s effect is on neurons, why did Dr. Westwood experience paralysis?