About this Research Topic
Understanding neurological and psychiatric disorders is a pressing challenge for the scientific community. While genetic studies have identified important susceptibility genes and molecular pathways contributing to such disorders, these studies have also shown some redundancy, where the same gene can be implicated with different pathological conditions. For this reason, it is important to analyze these disorders considering converging mechanisms operating at different levels of complexity. One such candidate mechanism is the regulation of the synaptic function and experience-dependent plasticity.
Changes in synaptic strength occur ubiquitously throughout the brain, and serve to adjust neuronal communication in response to changing external conditions. It has been recently proposed that in many neurological and psychiatric conditions this ability is impaired, and might arise from deficits in molecules and signaling pathways mediating response to external and internal stimuli. For this reason, there is a resurging interest in identifying molecular links between changes in short- and long-term synaptic plasticity and different brain disorders. Here we focus on molecular biology, electrophysiology, and imaging studies that identify molecules and signaling pathways that, by altering synaptic function in response to external stimuli, promote the onset and/or progression of brain disorders.
This topic brings together basic neuroscientists studying cell-specific mechanisms that disrupt the plastic properties of neuronal circuits throughout the brain. We welcome original papers and review articles that contribute our knowledge of the cellular mechanisms in neurological and psychiatric disorders, as well as technological breakthroughs and analytical approaches that allow studying them with high spatial and temporal resolution. These findings will be of interest to basic and translational neuroscientists interested in advancing our understanding of the synaptic mechanisms that shape brain function in neurological and psychiatric disorders.
Keywords: Neurodevelopmental disorders, Neuropsychiatric disorders, Neurodegenerative disorders, Brain Injury
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