Scientists find clues to brain’s wiring


A group of researchers at Washington University School of Medicine have discovered proteins that program a common type of brain nerve cell.

The findings also unveiled that how the newly discovered group of proteins in connection with another type of nerve cell in the brain could cause brain developing.

The research team focused on studying synapses in the cerebellum, a region of the brain that sits in the back of the head, according to the paper reported in Neuron.

The cerebellum plays a central role in controlling the coordination of movement and is essential for what researchers call procedural motor learning, which makes it possible to move our muscles at an unconscious level.

“So, impairment of the wiring of nerve cells in the cerebellum may contribute to movement disorders as well as cognitive problems including autism spectrum disorders,” said senior author Azad Bonni, the Edison Professor of Neurobiology and head of the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology at the School of Medicine.

The study shows that a complex of proteins known as NuRD (nucleosome remodeling and deacetylase) plays a significant role in some aspects of the cerebellum’s construction.

The results reveal that blocking the NuRD complex, led the cells in the cerebellum (called granule cells) to be degenerated to form connections with other nerve cells, the Purkinje neurons.

“These circuits are important for the cerebellum’s control of movement coordination and learning.”

The experts believe that the research will also pave more ways for the scientists to understand the causes of intellectual disability and autism.

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