A study suggests that spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), a genetic neuromuscular disease in infants and children, results primarily from motor circuit dysfunction, not motor neuron or muscle cell dysfunction, as is commonly thought. In a second study, the researchers identified the molecular pathway in SMA that leads to problems with motor function.
Researchers discovered a new group of nerve cells that regulate processes of learning and memory. These cells act as gatekeepers and carry a receptor for nicotine, which can help explain our ability to remember and sort information. The newly discovered gatekeeper nerve cells, also called OLM-alpha2 cells, provide an explanation to how the flow of information is controlled in the hippocampus.
A low dose of the sedative clonazepam alleviated autistic-like behavior in mice with a mutation that causes Dravet syndrome in humans.