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Neural Plasticity
Volume 2011, Article ID 286073, 11 pages
Review Article

Brain Plasticity and Disease: A Matter of Inhibition

1National Research Council (CNR), Neuroscience Institute, Via Moruzzi 1, I-56124 Pisa, Italy
2Department of Psychology, Florence University, Pizza San Marco 4, I-50121 Florence, Italy
3Laboratory of Neurobiology, Scuola Normale Superiore, Pizza Cavalieri 7, I-56126 Pisa, Italy

Received 10 January 2011; Accepted 4 May 2011

Academic Editor: Graziella Di Cristo

Copyright © 2011 Laura Baroncelli 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.


One major goal in Neuroscience is the development of strategies promoting neural plasticity in the adult central nervous system, when functional recovery from brain disease and injury is limited. New evidence has underscored a pivotal role for cortical inhibitory circuitries in regulating plasticity both during development and in adulthood. This paper summarizes recent findings showing that the inhibition-excitation balance controls adult brain plasticity and is at the core of the pathogenesis of neurodevelopmental disorders like autism, Down syndrome, and Rett syndrome.