The Synaptic Bases of Mental Diseases

Social dopamine


Dopaminergic neurons of the VTA (green). Virus-infected neurons that can be inhibited to assess their effects on social behavior through chemogenetic approaches are in red. The level of infected dopamine neuron is about 50% (yellow).   Highlight from the Bellone’s Read more…

Dopamine, a key component of heroin addiction


Photo illustrating dopaminergic neurons (in red). In green, are dopaminergic neurons that have been activated by heroin. In blue, a marking of the nuclei of the cells. © UNIGE Addiction refers to the repeated and irrepressible desire to do or Read more…

Autism social interaction difficulties caused by poor synapse maturation


A significant debilitating factor for those afflicted with autism spectral disorders (ASD) is impairment of social communication. Now, a team of investigators from the Universities of Geneva (UNIGE) and Basel (UNIBAS), in Switzerland believe they have uncovered what happens in Read more…

Cocaine tampers with the brain’s brakes

cocaine leaves

New results from Christian Lüscher and his group show that cocaine not only acts on excitatory transmission but also affects inhibitory transmission provoking loss of an intrinsic brake in the brain. Cocaine-evoked synaptic plasticity in the nucleus accumbens and the Read more…