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Neurons are stimulated for research and therapy purposes. How much voltage (current, duration, etc) can a neuron or a group of neurons, in humans, take without being damaged?

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  • $\begingroup$ There are way too many factors involved to give you a simple number, and "damage" is also a very non-specific term. Also, when you write "voltage (current, duration, etc)" it makes it sound like you don't know what terms like voltage and current mean: for example, current is not a type/part of voltage, so you might want to start there first. $\endgroup$ – Bryan Krause May 5 '17 at 20:36
  • $\begingroup$ i know current and voltage are different but related quantities. for damage,all three or any one of the three parameters may be enough;that is why i included all. also, yes,damage is subjective,so be it. if you know anything about any type of damage,write about it. are there so many types of damage that it cannot be summarized here? even then, some major ones can be mentioned. $\endgroup$ – whn May 5 '17 at 20:43
  • $\begingroup$ also,another way to think about it is how much is known to be safe. $\endgroup$ – whn May 5 '17 at 20:45
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It probably mostly depends on how you stimulate them, when we probe the ulnar nerve in practical classes with a stimulator on the skin, then 20V seems about fine. Most students will handle 20V 100 ms pulses, but some will flinch.

If you have a neuron connected directly to an electrode (in a dish), then you will get decent responses from 50-100mV square voltage steps. Individual cells will respond after 10-40 mV (depending on cell type), much more than 150-300 mV will probably be problematic (and not physiological) for single cells.

It sounds like you need to read some early electrophys, start with the squid giant axon, then Neher and Sudhof were the gods for the start of my PhD.

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