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TheScientificWorldJOURNAL
Volume 10 (2010), Pages 2198-2206
http://dx.doi.org/10.1100/tsw.2010.211
Mini-Review Article

Involvement and Therapeutic Potential of the GABAergic System in the Fragile X Syndrome

1Department of Medical Genetics, University of Antwerp, Belgium
2Department of Biological Sciences, Hunter College, New York, NY, USA

Received 21 June 2010; Revised 22 September 2010; Accepted 20 October 2010

Academic Editor: Sergi Ferre

Copyright © 2010 Inge Heulens et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Many drugs have been developed that are able to modulate the GABAergic system, which is involved in anxiety, depression, epilepsy, insomnia, and learning and memory. The recent observation that the GABAA receptor is underexpressed in the fragile X syndrome, an inherited mental retardation disorder, therefore raised hopes for targeted therapy of the disorder. This review summarizes the lines of evidence that demonstrate a malfunction of the GABAergic system. The GABAergic system clearly emerges as an attractive target for therapy of the fragile X syndrome, and thus provides an excellent example of how genetic research can lead to unique opportunities for treatment.