We've updated our Privacy Policy to make it clearer how we use your personal data.

We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. You can read our Cookie Policy here.

Advertisement
Study uncovers new molecular signaling mechanism for correcting childhood visual disorders
News

Study uncovers new molecular signaling mechanism for correcting childhood visual disorders

Study uncovers new molecular signaling mechanism for correcting childhood visual disorders
News

Study uncovers new molecular signaling mechanism for correcting childhood visual disorders

Read time:
 

Want a FREE PDF version of This News Story?

Complete the form below and we will email you a PDF version of "Study uncovers new molecular signaling mechanism for correcting childhood visual disorders"

First Name*
Last Name*
Email Address*
Country*
Company Type*
Job Function*
Would you like to receive further email communication from Technology Networks?

Technology Networks Ltd. needs the contact information you provide to us to contact you about our products and services. You may unsubscribe from these communications at any time. For information on how to unsubscribe, as well as our privacy practices and commitment to protecting your privacy, check out our Privacy Policy

Neuroscientists at University of California, Irvine have discovered a molecular signaling mechanism that translates visual impairments into functional changes in brain circuit connections.


The discovery may help to develop novel therapeutic drugs to treat the childhood visual disorder amblyopia and other neurodevelopment disorders. Xiangmin Xu, Todd Holmes and Sunil Gandhi conducted the study, which appears in Neuron.


See Also: Bug eyes: Tiny glasses confirm 3D vision in insects


Amblyopia is the most common cause of permanent visual defects among children and is often a result of improper brain development due to deprivation during the "critical period" of vision development.


In a previous study, Xu helped discover that a specific class of inhibitory neurons (parvalbumin-expressing neurons, or PV neurons) control the critical period of vision development.


In this study, Xu and colleagues found that neuregulin-1 (NRG1) molecules modulate the activities of these neurons, thus outlining a new path for treatments that can restore normal vision in children who have had early deficits. As neurodevelopmental disorders such as schizophrenia appear to result from brain developmental defects during defined postnatal windows, the linkage of NRG1 signaling to critical growth periods provides important new insights.


Read Next: Brain plasticity after vision loss has an ‘on-off switch’


Xu said he hopes that therapeutic interventions targeting NRG1 may be exploited to treat cortical neurodevelopmental disorders.


Note: Material may have been edited for length and content. For further information, please contact the cited source.


University of California, Irvine   press release


Publication

Sun Y et al. Neuregulin-1/ErbB4 Signaling Regulates Visual Cortical Plasticity.   Neuron, Published Online September 15 2016. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2016.08.033


Advertisement