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Paper   IPM / Biological Sciences / 17140
School of Biological Sciences
  Title:   Synaptic plasticity during brain development: Implications for therapeutic reorganization of neural circuits
1.  Alireza Valizadeh
2.  Mojtaba Madadi Asl
  Status:   Published
  Journal: Encyclopedia of Child and Adolescent Health
  Year:  2023
  Supported by:  IPM
Plasticity of brain networks is essential for normal development of the nervous system. Neural plasticity allows for an adaptive rewiring of neural circuits which enables the brain to respond dynamically to extrinsic and intrinsic stimuli. Neural plasticity can express itself at the macroscale as changes in the spatio-temporal patterns arising in neural assemblies, at the mesoscale as functional changes of the synaptic connections, and at the microscale as changes in the electrophysiological properties of neurons and synapses at the molecular level. Synaptic plasticity is one of the most important forms of plasticity that modifies the strength of synaptic transmission based on neural activity, thereby allowing for a functional reorganization of neural interactions in the developing brain. However, impaired synaptic plasticity may cause developmental abnormalities which are related to several brain disorders. Reorganization of neural circuits by therapeutic interventions targeting synaptic plasticity may serve as a basis for functional recovery after significant neural damage and may play a key role in the treatment of a number of brain disorders. Here, we review the dynamical aspects of activity-dependent synaptic plasticity and its functional implications in the reorganization of neural and synaptic interactions. Furthermore, we discuss the potential role of synaptic plasticity in the optimization and development of therapeutic stimulation strategies targeting pathological brain states.

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