, Volume 45, Issue 3, pp 478-487

Aberrant Dendritic Excitability: A Common Pathophysiology in CNS Disorders Affecting Memory?

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Abstract

Discovering the etiology of pathophysiologies and aberrant behavior in many central nervous system (CNS) disorders has proven elusive because susceptibility to these diseases can be a product of multiple factors such as genetics, epigenetics, and environment. Advances in molecular biology and wide-scale genomics have shown that a large heterogeneity of genetic mutations are potentially responsible for the neuronal pathologies and dysfunctional behaviors seen in CNS disorders. Despite this seemingly complex array of genetic and physiological factors, many disorders of the CNS converge on common dysfunctions in memory. In this review, we propose that mechanisms underlying the development of many CNS disorders may share an underlying cause involving abnormal dendritic integration of synaptic signals. Through understanding the relationship between molecular genetics and dendritic computation, future research may uncover important links between neuronal physiology at the cellular level and higher-order circuit and network abnormalities observed in CNS disorders, and their subsequent affect on memory.