The metabolism of neurons and astrocytes through mathematical models

E. Somersalo, Y. Cheng, D. Calvetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Mathematicalmodeling of the energymetabolismof brain cells plays a central role in understanding data collected with different imaging modalities, and in making predictions based on them. During the last decade, several sophisticated brain metabolism models have appeared. Unfortunately, the picture of the metabolic details that emerges from them is far from coherent: while each model has its justification and is in agreement with someexperimental data, some of the predictions of differentmodels can diverge fromeach other significantly. In this article, we review some of the recent published models, emphasizing similarities and differences between them to understand where the differences in predictions stem from. In that context we present a probabilistic approach, which rather than assigning fixed values to the model parameters, regard them as randomvariableswhose distributions are inferred on in the light of stoichiometric information and different observations. The probabilistic approach reveals how much intrinsic variability a metabolic system may contain, which in turn may be a valid explanation of the different findings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2328-2344
Number of pages17
JournalAnnals of Biomedical Engineering
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2012


  • Energy metabolism
  • Mathematical modeling
  • Probabilistic approach

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