Inhibitory control of the excitatory/inhibitory balance in psychiatric disorders
SourceF1000research, 7, (2018), pp. 23
Article / Letter to editor
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SubjectRadboudumc 7: Neurodevelopmental disorders DCMN: Donders Center for Medical Neuroscience
Neuronal networks consist of different types of neurons that all play their own role in order to maintain proper network function. The two main types of neurons segregate in excitatory and inhibitory neurons, which together regulate the flow of information through the network. It has been proposed that changes in the relative strength in these two opposing forces underlie the symptoms observed in psychiatric disorders, including autism and schizophrenia. Here, we review the role of alterations to the function of the inhibitory system as a cause of psychiatric disorders. First, we explore both patient and post-mortem evidence of inhibitory deficiency. We then discuss the function of different interneuron subtypes in the network and focus on the central role of a specific class of inhibitory neurons, parvalbumin-positive interneurons. Finally, we discuss genes known to be affected in different disorders and the effects that mutations in these genes have on the inhibitory system in cortex and hippocampus. We conclude that alterations to the inhibitory system are consistently identified in animal models of psychiatric disorders and, more specifically, that mutations affecting the function of parvalbumin-positive interneurons seem to play a central role in the symptoms observed in these disorders.
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