Dr Nathalie Dehorter and her team study interneurons (the neurons controlling the excitation-inhibition balance in the central nervous system) during brain development and in disorders like autism, schizophrenia and Parkinson’s disease. Nathalie aims to identify early changes in neuronal activity and connectivity that give rise to impairment in the adult brain. She hopes that a better understanding of these processes may, one day, lead to new therapies tailored for a person’s age and gender.   

In this brief conversation, Nathalie explains:   

  • What mouse models of autism can teach us about the human condition 
  • How early brain changes may lead to autism  
  • The mechanisms common to autism and schizophrenia 
  • When the team hopes to move into clinical trials  
  • Why she chose QBI as her research home 


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Related papers and resources  

Developmental deficits of MGE-derived interneurons in the Cntnap2 knockout mouse model of autism spectrum disorder 

Absence of CNTNAP2 leads to epilepsy, neuronal migration abnormalities and core autism-related deficits 

From Progenitors to Progeny: Shaping Striatal Circuit Development and Function 

Shifting Developmental Trajectories During Critical Periods of Brain Formation 

Tuning neural circuits by turning the interneuron knob 

Autism Queensland 

Simons Foundation Autism Research Institute 


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