Dendritic Spine "Dysgenesis" and Mental Retardation

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Science  20 Dec 1974:
Vol. 186, Issue 4169, pp. 1126-1128
DOI: 10.1126/science.186.4169.1126


Golgi studies reveal abnormally long, thin spines and the absence of short, thick spines on dendrites of cortical neurons in retarded children with normal karyotypes. The degree of dendritic spine loss and abnormality appears to be related to age and the severity of developmental retardation. Dendritic spine "dysgenesis" is a common feature of the microstructural pathology that occurs in profound mental retardation of unknown etiology.

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