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NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Researchers from Boston Children's Hospital and elsewhere have discovered a new role for a gene active before birth. They believe that SCN3A, which encodes a voltage-gated sodium channel (VGSC) in the brain, also controls brain folding, swallowing, tongue movement, and oral motor patterns in patients.

When SCN3A is mutated in a patient's brain, the perisylvian cortex — a language area within the brain — develops multiple small folds and causes a rare brain malformation called polymicrogyria (PMG).

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