Excitatory/Inhibitory Balance and Circuit Homeostasis in Autism Spectrum Disorders

Neuron. 2015 Aug 19;87(4):684-98. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2015.07.033.


Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) and related neurological disorders are associated with mutations in many genes affecting the ratio between neuronal excitation and inhibition. However, understanding the impact of these mutations on network activity is complicated by the plasticity of these networks, making it difficult in many cases to separate initial deficits from homeostatic compensation. Here we explore the contrasting evidence for primary defects in inhibition or excitation in ASDs and attempt to integrate the findings in terms of the brain's ability to maintain functional homeostasis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Brain / physiopathology*
  • Child Development Disorders, Pervasive / metabolism
  • Child Development Disorders, Pervasive / physiopathology*
  • Excitatory Postsynaptic Potentials / physiology*
  • Homeostasis / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Nerve Net / metabolism
  • Nerve Net / physiopathology*
  • Neural Inhibition / physiology*
  • Neuronal Plasticity / physiology
  • Synaptic Transmission / physiology