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Sensory impairment in mental retardation: a potential role for NGF

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-203
Number of pages11
JournalArchives Italiennes De Biologie
Volume149
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2011

King's Authors

Abstract

Sensory impairment is defined as the inability to interpret outside stimuli such as visual, auditory, verbal, sense of touch, taste or smell or feelings of pain. This leads to absence of sensation and neuronal coordination. The impairment may be caused by ageing and other physiological changes, accident or injuries or can be found in some cases of mental retardation (MR) also referred to as intellectual disability. Known cases of MR involving inability to accurately interpret an outside source or stimuli are: Fragile-X syndrome; Tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) with associated autism spectrum disorder (ASD); Rett syndrome; Autism and ASD with or without MR; Chromosome 22q13.3 deletion syndrome; familial dysautonomia, Prader-Willi's syndrome, Williams syndrome. In this review we will discuss in particular form of ASD and altered sensory sensitivity. The role of NGF in causing pronociceptive activity and its role in peripheral sensitisation is discussed under the light of its involvement in forms of MR where loss of pain perception is a main feature due to mutations to NGF receptors or NGF genes during development. Other forms of MR with altered sensory impairment will be considered as well as additional potential mechanisms involved.

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