Special Viewpoints

Postnatal Neurodevelopmental Disorders: Meeting at the Synapse?

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Science  31 Oct 2003:
Vol. 302, Issue 5646, pp. 826-830
DOI: 10.1126/science.1089071

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We often think of neurodevelopmental disorders as beginning before birth, and many certainly do. A handful, however, strike many months after birth, following a period of apparently normal growth and development. Autism and Rett syndrome are two such disorders, and here I consider some of their similarities at the phenotypic and pathogenic levels. I propose that both disorders result from disruption of postnatal or experience-dependent synaptic plasticity.

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