Mice lacking a gene that regulates an important signaling pathway in the central nervous system have severe autism-like social deficits, including little interest in nurturing their offspring and problems with learning and memory.
Spectrum: Autism Research News
Harmful spontaneous mutations may account for up to half the cases of non-inherited schizophrenia.
Mice engineered to carry a well-known risk factor for schizophrenia show disruptions in the connections between two brain regions that coordinate memory and learning. And these disruptions directly cause problems with working memory — the ability to actively hold information and to recall that information to make a decision, according to a study published in Nature.
Variations linked to autism and schizophrenia crop up in people with a large variety of conditions, including bipolar disorder, seizures and obsessive-compulsive disorder, as well as in healthy people. This notion gained new support from unpublished data presented at the World Congress for Psychiatric Genetics in San Diego.
After a Monday afternoon poster session at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in Chicago, Noboru Hiroi talked about the challenges of following up human genetic findings in the mouse.
Rare, spontaneous mutations could account for at least ten percent of cases of schizophrenia, according a study published online last week.