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Current Molecular Medicine


ISSN (Print): 1566-5240
ISSN (Online): 1875-5666

Common Mechanisms of Excitatory and Inhibitory Imbalance in Schizophrenia and Autism Spectrum Disorders

Author(s): R. Gao and P. Penzes

Volume 15, Issue 2, 2015

Page: [146 - 167] Pages: 22

DOI: 10.2174/1566524015666150303003028

Price: $65


Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and Schizophrenia (SCZ) are cognitive disorders with complex genetic architectures but overlapping behavioral phenotypes, which suggests common pathway perturbations. Multiple lines of evidence implicate imbalances in excitatory and inhibitory activity (E/I imbalance) as a shared pathophysiological mechanism. Thus, understanding the molecular underpinnings of E/I imbalance may provi de essential insight into the etiology of these disorders and may uncover novel targets for future drug discovery. Here, we review key genetic, physiological, neuropathological, functional, and pathway studies that suggest alterations to excitatory/inhibitory circuits are keys to ASD and SCZ pathogenesis.

Keywords: Autism, dendritic spine, E/I imbalance, GABAergic interneuron, glutamatergic, mTOR, NMDAR, schizophrenia.

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