Synaptopathies: synaptic dysfunction in neurological disorders - A review from students to students.

J Neurochem 2016 09 8;138(6):785-805. Epub 2016 Sep 8.

Department for Neurochemistry and Molecular Biology, Leibniz Institute for Neurobiology Magdeburg, Magdeburg, Germany.

Synapses are essential components of neurons and allow information to travel coordinately throughout the nervous system to adjust behavior to environmental stimuli and to control body functions, memories, and emotions. Thus, optimal synaptic communication is required for proper brain physiology, and slight perturbations of synapse function can lead to brain disorders. In fact, increasing evidence has demonstrated the relevance of synapse dysfunction as a major determinant of many neurological diseases. This notion has led to the concept of synaptopathies as brain diseases with synapse defects as shared pathogenic features. In this review, which was initiated at the 13th International Society for Neurochemistry Advanced School, we discuss basic concepts of synapse structure and function, and provide a critical view of how aberrant synapse physiology may contribute to neurodevelopmental disorders (autism, Down syndrome, startle disease, and epilepsy) as well as neurodegenerative disorders (Alzheimer and Parkinson disease). We finally discuss the appropriateness and potential implications of gathering synapse diseases under a single term. Understanding common causes and intrinsic differences in disease-associated synaptic dysfunction could offer novel clues toward synapse-based therapeutic intervention for neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders. In this Review, which was initiated at the 13th International Society for Neurochemistry (ISN) Advanced School, we discuss basic concepts of synapse structure and function, and provide a critical view of how aberrant synapse physiology may contribute to neurodevelopmental (autism, Down syndrome, startle disease, and epilepsy) as well as neurodegenerative disorders (Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases), gathered together under the term of synaptopathies. Read the Editorial Highlight for this article on page 783.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jnc.13713DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5095804PMC
September 2016
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