About this Research Topic
Chronic diseases of the central nervous system (CNS), such as psychiatric disorders and neurodegenerative diseases occur with high and increasing prevalence.
Since the underlying neural circuits and molecular mechanisms for disease expression and progression are not fully understood, current drug therapies are often unsatisfactory. The development of novel and improved therapeutic strategies requires the identification of innovative targets for therapeutic intervention.
The Joint Meeting of the Austrian Neuroscience Association (ANA) and of the Austrian Pharmacological Society (APHAR), to be held in Innsbruck on the 25th-27th September 2019 will address a number of these issues.
The main goal of this Research Topic is to provide a state-of-the-art view of the recent developments in:
i) The basic synaptic mechanisms that control presynaptic neurotransmitter storage and release;
ii) The organization of postsynaptic signaling complexes and experience-dependent synaptic plasticity;
iii) The elucidation of the intricate neural circuits underlying complex brain functions as well as their alterations in brain disorders.
Special emphasis will be given on voltage-gated calcium channels and their influence on synapse formation, stability, and activity in relation to disease mechanisms such as Parkinson’s disease and anxiety disorders.
Moreover, this Research Topic will include contributions towards the recent implication of neuromodulators, in particular, dopamine signaling, in associative plasticity and learning during extinction of fear.
This Research Topic will provide an up-to-date view of cell- and circuit-specific pathophysiological mechanisms contributing to chronic CNS diseases and important clues about the potential therapeutic effects of their pharmacological targeting. It is also expected that the contributions to this Research topic will expose key open questions related to the intersection between sophisticated molecular mechanisms and specialized neural circuits.
Keywords: psychopharmacology, neural circuits, synapse, dopamine, calcium channels
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