Future Directions

What are the mechanisms by which changes in membrane potential affect synaptic transmission?

What are the functional consequences of this mixed form of synaptic transmission?

Is it possible that this mixed form of synaptic transmission is especially relevant to certain disease states such as epileptic discharge, migraine headache, or multiple sclerosis?

Example: We have found that Abnormal Discharges, such as Epileptic Seizures, may Propagate far Down the Axon

Figure 26. Epileptic seizures recorded simultaneously in the axon and cell body.  Note that the large depolarizations associated with the epileptiform activity propagates far down the axon.  Could this cause release without action potentials?  This interesting question remains to be tested.