Scientists better understand interneurons and their role in autism

By The Science Advisory Board staff writers

July 18, 2022 -- New research identifies specific cells that regulate the transmission of information between brain areas and could form the basis for development of new treatment options for neuropsychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia and autism.

A research team from the Medical University of Vienna's Center for Brain Research recorded the activity of identified interneurons in the CA1 hippocampus of awake mice (Science, July 14, 2022). They found the activity of neurogliaform cells (NGFCs) was correlated with a decrease in coupling between pyramidal cell firing and gamma oscillations without affecting the overall levels pyramidal cell activity. In essence, NGFCs regulate information transfer by temporarily disengaging the synchrony with pyramidal cells without decreasing the activity of communicating networks.

NGFCs briefly inhibit other cell types and that means current perception and memories of past experiences can be processed both separately and in combination. In various neuropsychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia and autism, the ability to process current perception and memories is impaired.

Next, the researchers plan to investigate how the activity of NGFCs can be influenced to form the starting point for new drugs and therapeutic options for neuropsychiatric disorders.

Study: 2 genes may lead to intellectual disability expression
Researchers at the University of Buffalo found that a convergent mechanism involving two genes may be responsible for how autism spectrum disorder/intellectual...
Role of key gene in developmental disability identified
A single gene previously found to be the driving force in a rare syndrome linked to epilepsy, autism, and developmental disability has now been identified...
Atlas finds hundreds of genes that control the brain's shape
The shapes of our brains are heavily influenced by our genes, although the precise nature of this complex relationship is difficult to pin down. Now,...
CHOP uses AI to find genetic causes of mental health disorders
Minority populations have been historically underrepresented in existing studies addressing how genetic variations may contribute to a variety of disorders....
Long-read sequencing of circRNA finds autism-linked microexons
Scientists have developed a new laboratory protocol and bioinformatic pipeline using a long-read sequencing platform from Oxford Nanopore Technologies...

Copyright © 2022

Science Advisory Board on LinkedIn
Science Advisory Board on Facebook
Science Advisory Board on Twitter