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Trends Neurosci. 2017 Jul;40(7):397-407. doi: 10.1016/j.tins.2017.05.004. Epub 2017 May 31.

The Role of Interneurons in Autism and Tourette Syndrome.

Author information

1
Yale School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry, 34 Park Street, New Haven, CT ​06519, USA; Present address: Department of Physiology & Biophysics, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Buffalo, State University of New York at Buffalo, NY 14214, USA. Electronic address: max_rapanelli@yahoo.com.
2
Yale School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry, 34 Park Street, New Haven, CT ​06519, USA; Present address: Hunter James Kelly Research Institute, Department of Neurology, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, State University of New York at Buffalo, NY 14203, USA.
3
Yale School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry, 34 Park Street, New Haven, CT ​06519, USA.

Abstract

The brain includes multiple types of interconnected excitatory and inhibitory neurons that together allow us to move, think, feel, and interact with the environment. Inhibitory interneurons (INs) comprise a small, heterogeneous fraction, but they exert a powerful and tight control over neuronal activity and consequently modulate the magnitude of neuronal output and, ultimately, information processing. IN abnormalities are linked to two pediatric psychiatric disorders with high comorbidity: autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and Tourette syndrome (TS). Studies probing the basis of this link have been contradictory regarding whether the causative mechanism is a reduction in number, dysfunction, or gene aberrant expression (or a combination thereof). Here, we integrate different theories into a more comprehensive view of INs as responsible for the symptomatology observed in these disorders.

KEYWORDS:

Tourette syndrome; autism; cortex; interneurons; striatum

PMID:
28578790
DOI:
10.1016/j.tins.2017.05.004
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