6. Dynamic function, synaptic activity, and plasticity

The goal of this chapter is to present a few examples of insights gained into neuronal and brain functions through molecular genetic studies, facilitated by the availability of data on gene sequence. Through functional genomic studies on synapses, we have gained insight into processes that, when disrupted, lead to cognitive impairment and behavioral abnormalities.

Synapses, dendrites, and cognitive impairment

Histological studies on the brain have revealed that abnormal dendritic spine number and morphology are among the most consistent findings associated with cognitive impairment. A growing body of evidence indicates synaptic plasticity and changes in signal strength following activity, ...

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