Dr. Bettio is currently investigating possible therapeutic interventions for the treatment of Fragile X Syndrome (FXS), the most common form of inherited intellectual disability. The neurological deficits associated with this disorder are caused by a mutation that leads to the loss of FMRP, a protein implicated in the regulation of a large number of synaptic proteins. This alteration leads to abnormally high levels of immature dendritic spines and impaired synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus, a brain structure that plays a major role in the regulation of cognitive and emotional processes.
Recent findings have been suggesting that experimental approaches that improve hippocampal plasticity can alleviate FXS symptoms. Within this context, Bettio’s research focuses on evaluating whether specific proteins released after exercise and/or dietary interventions can improve hippocampal function in a preclinical model of FXS. Particularly, he has been investigating how adiponectin can improve the impaired communication between hippocampal neurons in FXS.
The results of Bettio’s research will help to establish new pharmacological and/or non-pharmacological interventions for the treatment of FXS.
For an up-to-date list of publications by Dr. Bettio, please see ORCID.