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Abnormal neuronal differentiation (functional maturation) in mental retardation.


A review is presented of a variety of human pathologic conditions, including some forms of mental retardation, and of experimental situations involving the nervous system proved (with the Golgi method) to be associated with detectable morphologic abnormalities. The postsynaptic elements (the dendritic spines) have been found to be especially sensitive and frequently they are found to be structurally abnormal. Structural abnormalities involving one of the synaptic components could result in synaptic dysfunction which could explain some degree of mental or motor retardation or incoordination. It is hoped that this review will stimulate and encourage the use of the Golgi method in the study of abnormal conditions (clinical or experimental) affecting the nervous system.

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