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Mol Psychiatry. 2019 May 14. doi: 10.1038/s41380-019-0426-0. [Epub ahead of print]

Excitation-inhibition balance as a framework for investigating mechanisms in neuropsychiatric disorders.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry, Weill Institute for Neurosciences, and Kavli Institute for Fundamental Neuroscience, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, 94143, USA. vikaas.sohal@ucsf.edu.
2
Department of Psychiatry, Weill Institute for Neurosciences, and Kavli Institute for Fundamental Neuroscience, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, 94143, USA. John.Rubenstein@ucsf.edu.

Abstract

In 2003 Rubenstein and Merzenich hypothesized that some forms of Autism (ASD) might be caused by a reduction in signal-to-noise in key neural circuits, which could be the result of changes in excitatory-inhibitory (E-I) balance. Here, we have clarified the concept of E-I balance, and updated the original hypothesis in light of the field's increasingly sophisticated understanding of neuronal circuits. We discuss how specific developmental mechanisms, which reduce inhibition, affect cortical and hippocampal functions. After describing how mutations of some ASD genes disrupt inhibition in mice, we close by suggesting that E-I balance represents an organizing framework for understanding findings related to pathophysiology and for identifying appropriate treatments.

PMID:
31089192
DOI:
10.1038/s41380-019-0426-0

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