Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour
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Thesis defense Martijn Selten (Donders series 362)

21 January 2019

Promotor: prof. dr. H. van Bokhoven
Co-promotors: dr. N. Nadif Kasri, dr. S. Kolk

Altered function of the inhibitory system in rodent models of neurodevelopmental disorders

Disruption of brain development has been identified as a key player in the development of neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism or schizophrenia. Mutations in the DNA of patients are often an important reason for disrupted development. In this thesis we studied animal models of different neurodevelopmental disorders. We investigated if there are similarities in the nature of the disrupted brain development between these models. Our research shows that all studied models show a disrupted function of a specific class of brain cells, the inhibitory cells. These cells regulate the way the brain processes information, and a disrupted function of these cells leads to problems in information processing. The results presented in this thesis underline the importance of the proper functioning of the inhibitory system, and point towards inhibitory brain cells as a therapeutic target. Eventually, developing therapeutic strategies targeting these cells could lead to new treatments for autism or schizophrenia.