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Neural Disruptions Underlying Feeding, Swallowing Disorders in Children Identified

Every time you chew, talk, yawn, or sense the zap of a toothache, cranial nerve cells are shuttling electrochemical signals to your brain. Some of these neurons detect pain, while others sense facial muscle movements or sensations in the skin.

Now, in a new study published in Disease Models & Mechanisms, Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC scientists led by Anthony-Samuel LaMantia depict the early development of pain-sensing and movement-sensing neurons in the face and throat. The findings reveal a previously unexplored feature of brain and cranial nerve development underlying eating, swallowing, and speech.

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