080210xf's Blog

L'X fragile sera vaincu | Fragile X will be conquered

Studies explore amygdala problems in fragile X syndrome

Kelly Rae Chi, SFARI |

The amygdala, a brain region that regulates fear and anxiety, shows abnormal neuronal signaling in a mouse model of fragile X syndrome, according to two studies published this summer.

Previous imaging studies in people and behavioral experiments in mice have implicated the amygdala in the syndrome. The new studies are the first to explore cellular defects in the region in fragile X.

In particular, they reveal that mouse models of fragile X — the most common inherited form of mental retardation and autism — seem to have specific differences in the ways their amygdalae and hippocampi behave.

Much of the research on brain dysfunction in fragile X has focused on the hippocampus, a region that processes learning and memory.

Drugs touted as potential therapies for fragile X also appear to be more effective at reversing some of the abnormalities associated with the syndrome in the hippocampus than in the amygdala.

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