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The brain's wiring technicians: Research identifies cadre of immune cells

The insights, the researchers said, could hold important clues for new therapeutic approaches for conditions in which the brain’s neural wiring goes awry. Such defects can disrupt the fine equilibrium between excitation and inhibition and lead to serious functional aberrations in sensory perceptions – from sensory overstimulation, at one extreme, to sensory blunting, at the other. Such sensory disruptions are often seen in conditions such as autism-spectrum disorders, ADHD, or schizophrenia.

“In the not-too-distant future we can look for ways to selectively toggle or tweak the balance between excitatory and inhibitory connections in the brain through the recruitment of specialized microglia tasked with remodeling and pruning specific synapses,” Favuzzi added.

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