Mental Retardation

In Vivo Analysis of the Role of FMRP in Dendrite Maturation and Plasticity in the Somatosensory Cortex
2009 Seed Grant
Anis Contractor, Ph.D.
Northwestern University

Fragile X syndrome is the most common form of human mental retardation and the single largest known cause of autism. One prominent manifestation of the disease is an alteration in sensory processing that results in tactile hypersensitivity in fragile X patients. This study will seek to define the impairments in dendritic maturation and plasticity in the sensory cortex of a fragile X mouse model. The results will allow us to determine the role that fragile X mental retardation protein plays in the development and plasticity of neurons which underlie sensory processing.