Neurology Central

Endocannabinoids and disrupted synchronous oscillations in autism spectrum disorders

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Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are highly prevalent, highly heritable neurodevelopmental disorders that occur more commonly in males, whose prominent symptom domains include deficits of social communication, narrowed interests and repetitive behaviors. Although there are diverse etiologies, impaired synaptic architecture and function as well as imbalance between central excitatory and inhibitory transmission are probable pathogenic mechanisms shared by many affected persons, which can result in disturbances of γ-synchronous oscillatory rhythms [1]. γ-synchronous oscillatory activity resulting from the influence of inhibitory GABAergic basket cells on assemblies of cortical pyramidal output neurons facilitates efficient long-range interactions between neural circuits. These oscillatory activities within and between circuits are regulated and ‘fine tuned’ by the endogenous cannabinoid system (ECS) [1]. Therapeutic targeting of the ECS is a promising and novel therapeutic approach to ASD.
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