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Neurons find their place in the developing nervous system with the help of a sticky molecule

been shown to affect cell migration and positioning in other parts of the nervous system. Numerous mutations in the human L1 gene have been uncovered; individuals with these mutations often show severe defects in neuronal positioning and connectivity, which are clinically manifested in conditions such as hydrocephalus, mental retardation and spastic paraplegia.

Whether mutations in MDGA1 lead to brain disorders remains to be seen. "Much work needs to be done, and the appropriate tools need to be developed to do this work," said O'Leary, "but we feel that these studies will eventually provide insight into neurological disorders that have their basis in malpositioning of neurons."


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Source:Salk Institute


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