Two autism-related mutations in a synapse-adhesion protein lead to deficits in prolonged endocannabinoid signaling in mice. It’s a surprising connection that suggests such signaling problems could be implicated in autism spectrum disorders, according to a paper published today (April 11) in Neuron.
Tonic endocannabinoid signaling is long-lasting and contrasts with the brief pulses characteristic of phasic signaling. Endocannabinoid signaling in general affects memory formation, learning, pain, and other important processes, but the distinctions between tonic and phasic signaling have been poorly understood.
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