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Trends Neurosci. 2008 Dec;31(12):626-36. doi: 10.1016/j.tins.2008.09.002. Epub 2008 Oct 24.

Neuro-archaeology: pre-symptomatic architecture and signature of neurological disorders.

Author information

1
Institute of Neurobiology of the Mediterranean Sea (INMED), Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale (INSERM), Campus Scientifique de Luminy, Route de Luminy, Marseille 13263 Cedex, France. ben-ari@inmed.univ-mrs.fr

Abstract

During brain development cells divide, differentiate and migrate to their assigned targets to form synapses and active cell assemblies. This sequence is controlled both by genetic programs and environmental factors. Alterations of this sequence by mutations or environmental insults leads to the formation of misconnected circuits endowed with a 'pre-symptomatic signature'. I propose here that early- and late-onset neurological disorders as diverse as infantile epilepsies, mental retardation, dyslexia or, in certain conditions, even Huntington's and Alzheimer's disease might be, in part, born at early developmental stages before symptoms appear. The core of this working hypothesis is that imaging or non-invasive recordings might unravel signatures of disorders to come, thereby permitting earlier diagnosis and potential treatment of neurological disorders.

PMID:
18951639
DOI:
10.1016/j.tins.2008.09.002
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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