Plasticity and injury in the developing brain.

TitlePlasticity and injury in the developing brain.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsJohnston MV, Ishida A, Ishida WN, Matsushita HB, Nishimura A, Tsuji M
JournalBrain & development
Volume31
Issue1
Pagination1-10
Date Published2009 Jan
Abstract

The child's brain is more malleable or plastic than that of adults and this accounts for the ability of children to learn new skills quickly or recovery from brain injuries. Several mechanisms contribute to this ability including overproduction and deletion of neurons and synapses, and activity-dependent stabilization of synapses. The molecular mechanisms for activity-dependent synaptic plasticity are being discovered and this is leading to a better understanding of the pathogenesis of several disorders including neurofibromatosis, tuberous sclerosis, Fragile X syndrome and Rett syndrome. Many of the same pathways involved in synaptic plasticity, such as glutamate-mediated excitation, can also mediate brain injury when the brain is exposed to stress or energy failure such as hypoxia-ischemia. Recent evidence indicates that cell death pathways activated by injury differ between males and females. This new information about the molecular pathways involved in brain plasticity and injury are leading to insights that will provide better therapies for pediatric neurological disorders.

DOI10.1001/archneurol.65.8.noc80042
Alternate JournalBrain Dev.