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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

New clues to brain's wiring found by scientists

New research provides an intriguing glimpse into the processes that establish connections between nerve cells in the brain. These synapses, allow nerve cells to transmit and process information involved in thinking and moving the body. A group of proteins has been ID'd that program a common type of brain nerve cell to connect with another type of nerve cell in the brain.
It is an important step in learning how the developing brain is built, an area of research essential to understanding the causes of intellectual disability and autism.
>>A complex of proteins called NuRD (nucleosome remodeling and deacetylase) plays a fairly high supervisory role in some aspects of the cerebellum's construction.
>>When the researchers blocked NuRD complex, cells in the cerebellum called granule cells failed to form connections with the Purkinje neurons. These circuits are important for the cerebellum's control of movement coordination and learning.