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GABAergic abnormalities in the fragile X syndrome

Tijdschriftbijdrage - Tijdschriftartikel

Many pathways have been involved in pathophysiology of the fragile X syndrome, one of the more frequent genetic causes of intellectual disability and autism. This review highlights the recent insights in the role the abnormalities in the GABAergic system play in the disorder. Since the initial observations showed that the expression of specific subunits of the GABA(A) receptor were underexpressed in the fragile X knockout mouse model more than a decade ago, evidence has accumulated that the expression of approximately half of the GABAergic system is compromised in multiple species, including in fragile X patients. Functional consequences of the GABAergic deficiencies could be measured using whole-cell voltage clamp recordings. Pharmalogical treatment with agonist of the receptor was been able to restore several behavioral deficits in the fragile X mouse model, including seizures, marble burying and, in part, prepulse inhibition. Trials in patients with the same agonist have demonstrated encouraging post-hoc results in the most severely affected patients, although no effect could be demonstrated in the patient group as a whole. In conclusion, there can be little doubt that the GABAergic system is compromised in the fragile X syndrome and that these abnormalities contribute to the clinical abnormalities observed. However, at the moment the difference in treatment effectiveness of agonist of the receptor in animal models as opposed to in patients remains unexplained.
Tijdschrift: European Journal of Paediatric Neurology
ISSN: 1090-3798
Volume: 24
Pagina's: 100 - 104
Jaar van publicatie:2020