Washington: Brain damage caused by the loss of a single copy of a gene during early childhood can cause behavioral and intellectual problems that can last over a lifetime, a new study has warned.The study, conducted by the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI), sheds new light on the early development of neural circuits in the cortex, the part of the brain responsible for functions such as sensory perception, planning and decision-making.The research also pinpoints the mechanism responsible for the disruption of what are known as "windows of plasticity" that contribute to the refinement of the neural connections that broadly shape brain development and the maturing of perception, language, and cognitive abilities.The key to normal development of these abilities is that the neural connections in the brain cortex-the synapses-mature at the right time.
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