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Boosting Certain Brain Cells Diminished Hypersensitivity in Fragile X Mice

[Source: Science Daily; Image Credit: CDC]

Boosting the activity of inhibitory interneurons in Fragile X mice reduced their hypersensitivity to sensory stimuli, according to a new Neuron study led by UCLA Health researchers.

Fragile X Syndrome, which is caused by a mutation in a single gene, is the most common inherited form of intellectual disability and autism. Many people with Fragile X are extremely sensitive to sights, sounds, and touch, among other sensory experiences.

Previous research found Fragile X mice have a lower density of parvalbumin (PV) inhibitory interneurons, the main class of inhibitory neurons in the cerebral cortex — the region of the brain responsible for sensory processing. These neurons act like a brake on excitatory neurons to help them fire only when necessary.

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