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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 […]

Neuronal Netrin Required For Long-term Synaptic Transmission Potentiation

A protein molecule called netrin in the adult brain can make neural connections stronger, which is crucial not only for learning new tricks but also for maintaining a good memory, new research from McGill University has found. Netrin is known to help set up the healthy nervous system in an infant’s developing brain by directing […]