This book provides a new compilation of information that link changes in the basic structure of synapses and brain diseases. The book shows that specific secreted proteins, and short peptide mimicking the function of neural cell adhesion molecules can significantly enhance the formation of synapses in the brain. It describes recent advances in research that lay necessary scientific groundwork to develop pharmacological treatments.
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Molecular Mechanisms of Synaptogenesis is a compilation of recent exciting findings that summarizes the ever-expanding knowledge of how neuronal contacts develop in the normal brain and how their functions are affected in mental disorders.
In the last decade, advances in molecular and cellular biology, combined with the development of sophisticated fluorescence microscopy tools to visualize synapses in live neurons, have revealed many intriguing and unexpected findings regarding the dynamics of synapse formation. Studies by a number of researchers have identified several critical protein components of synapses and shown the time course of their arrival at the synapse. Several molecules serve to hold the synaptic contacts between nerve cells and regulate their function.
Imbalance in synaptic contact formation and function has been linked to psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, autism and mental retardation. The recent advances in basic research, summarized in Molecular Mechanisms of Synaptogenesis, may lay the necessary scientific groundwork to develop treatments targeting synaptogenesis, allowing us to improve the lives of people affected by brain disorders. This book will be an invaluable resource for neurobiologists taking their first steps in the expanding and exciting field of synaptogenesis.Review:
From the reviews:
"This volume provides a comprehensive overview and perspectives on the interplay between development, maturity, and disease that is valuable to the newcomer and expert alike. One strength of this volume is that it highlights the breadth of the many experimental systems and approaches that are used to study normal development as well as synaptic defects associated with human diseases. ... This volume provides an excellent resource to both established investigators and newcomers to the field." (Ethan G. Hughes and Rita J. Balice-Gordon, Neuron, Vol. 53, 2007)
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