Altered electrical activity in the neurons of mice with a mutated copy of SCN2A may explain the animals’ autism-like social behaviors.
Spectrum: Autism Research News
People who experience an autism-specific form of anxiety also tend to have an unusually small amygdala, a brain region associated with emotion processing and fear, according to a new unpublished study.
Blocking connections between the amygdala and hypothalamus prevents mice from finding social interactions as rewarding as they would otherwise.
Misaligned gene expression maps suggest that some autism-linked genes play distinct roles in mouse and human brains.
A glowing protein tracks serotonin levels and location in the brains of living mice and could yield clues to the neurotransmitter’s role in autism.
Nearly all genes with moderate to strong ties to autism are expressed in the developing amygdala; a few show altered expression in the amygdalae of autistic people.
The amygdala has long been a focus of autism research. But its exact role in the condition has been unclear.
Autistic children who have behavioral problems tend to have an enlarged right amygdala, and in girls the size is associated with the severity of certain behaviors.