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Special Issue "Implication of Ion Channels in Neurodevelopmental Disorders"

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Biochemistry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 July 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Maria Cristina D’Adamo
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Physiology and Biochemistry; Faculty of Medicine and Surgery; University of Malta; Msida, MSD 2080, MALTA
Interests: Ion channels physiology; Ion channels pharmacology; Ion channel diseases: channelopathies; Autism; Intellectual disability; Epilepsy; Movement disorders, Ataxia; Neurophysiology; Electrophysiology
Dr. Paola Imbrici
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
Università degli Studi di Bari, Bari, Italy
Interests: Ion channels physiology; Ion channels pharmacology; Ion channel diseases: channelopathies; Autism; Intellectual disability; Epilepsy; Movement disorders, Ataxia; Neurophysiology; Electrophysiology
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The distinct electrical features of brain cells and their connectivity are fine-tuned by the proper activation of cationic and anionic currents flowing through ion channels and their specific time- and space-dependent expression in inhibitory or excitatory neurons within neuronal circuits. Key neurotransmitters, including dopamine, serotonin, acetylcholine, GABA, and oxytocin, exert their actions by modulating the activity of ion channels also comprising ligand-gated channels. The complex interaction between neurotransmitters, receptors, and ion channels controls neurodevelopment and behavior. During the past few decades, many studies have demonstrated that abnormal ion channel function results in disabilities associated with brain wiring and functioning. Genetic investigations and the functional characterization of mutated channels using homologous and heterologous expression systems, neurons derived from patient-induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and gene-targeted animal models confirmed the pathogenic relevance of the genetic defect, providing important insights into the cellular mechanisms by which ion channel dysfunction impair neuronal networks. Worldwide, a significant number of children are affected by neurodevelopmental disorders that include autism, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), learning and intellectual disability, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, hyperekplexia (startle disease), epileptic encephalopathy, and leukoencephalopathy. The key architecture of these diseases that could be targeted for treatment remains an uncharted territory regardless of ion channels and G-protein-coupled receptors being the most common drug targets. Thus, new hopes for children exhibiting neurodevelopmental disorders may result from work that broadens the horizons on the causes and identifies new therapeutic options.

In this Special Issue of IJMS, we will assemble a series of reviews or original research articles to provide the most updated platform of knowledge on neurodevelopmental channelopathies, at clinical, genetic, neurophysiological, and pharmacological levels. This shall pave the way for new advances in the field that could greatly benefit prevention, management, and treatment for these devastating childhood illnesses.

Dr. Maria Cristina D’Adamo
Prof. Paola Imbrici
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Molecular Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. There is an Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal. For details about the APC please see here. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Neurodevelopmental channelopathies
  • Sodium, potassium, calcium, and chloride channels
  • Ligand-gated channels
  • Autism spectrum disorders
  • Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Epileptic encephalopathy
  • Leukoencephalopathy
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Down syndrome
  • Hyperekplexia (Startle Disease)
  • EAST/SeSAME syndrome
  • Intellectual disability
  • Neurodevelopmental delay
  • Pharmacology of ion channels and receptors

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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