Communication breakdown: Early defects in sensory synapses in motor neuron disease

Communication breakdown: Early defects in sensory synapses in motor neuron disease

Physorg.com | February 9, 2011

New research using a mouse model of the motor neuron disease spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) reveals an abnormality in the way that sensory information is relayed to motor neurons in the spinal cord. Importantly, this disruption in communication occurs very early in disease progression and precedes the neuronal death and muscle weakness that are the hallmark of the disease. The study, published by Cell Press in the February 10 issue of the journal Neuron, suggests that therapeutic strategies designed to improve communication at these spinal synapses might help to slow or prevent the progression of the disease and should be further explored.

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