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Technique Can Image Individual Proteins Within Synapses

Our brains contain millions of synapses — the connections that transmit messages from neuron to neuron. Within these synapses are hundreds of different proteins, and dysfunction of these proteins can lead to conditions such as schizophrenia and autism. Researchers at MIT and the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT have now devised a new way […]

Heroin Reduces The Brain’s Ability To Form Synapses

Exposure to heroin sharply reduces levels of the protein necessary for developing and maintaining the brain’s synapses, a preclinical study[1] by University at Buffalo researchers has found. The development of addiction relapse is directly related to the impact that reductions in this protein, called drebrin, have on specific cells involved in the brain’s pleasure-seeking/reward pathways. […]

Inhibitory Synapse Growth Is Stimulated In The Vicinity Of Excitatory Synapses

The growth of inhibitory synapses is specifically stimulated in the vicinity of excitatory synapses, researchers at Utrecht University have discovered. The vast majority of synapses are excitatory, which increase the activity of the receiving neuron. Around 10 to 20 percent of synapses have the opposite effect, and are called inhibitory. “Excitatory and inhibitory synapses create […]

A MicroRNA Cluster That Regulates Synapse Development And Sociability

Researchers have uncovered a microRNA cluster that regulates synaptic strength and is involved in the control of social behavior in mammals. The discovery may point to new therapeutic strategies for the treatment of social deficits in neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism spectrum disorder or schizophrenia. In their work at the University of Marburg, Germany and […]