An autism-linked mutation in the signaling protein EPAC2 alters the shape of neuronal branches, according to a study published in the June issue of PLoS Biology.
Spectrum: Autism Research News
Abnormalities in the connections between language-related brain regions are similar in people with autism and those with tuberous sclerosis, a genetic disorder characterized by benign tumors throughout the brain and body, according to a paper published 1 June in Cerebral Cortex.
TAOK2, a gene in the autism-associated 16p11.2 chromosomal region, is part of a signaling pathway that builds neuronal connections during development, according to a study published 10 June in Nature Neuroscience.
Losing one or both copies of TSC1, one of the two genes responsible for tuberous sclerosis complex, in specific cells of the cerebellum can trigger several autism-like behaviors in mice, according to research published 1 July in Nature.
Studying tuberous sclerosis provides researchers with a unique opportunity to find a common pathway among the various genetic causes of autism, says neurologist Mustafa Sahin.
The bundles of nerve fibers that connect two regions important for language are abnormal in the brains of children with autism, according to a study published 5 April in the American Journal of Neuroradiology.
Rather than a tangled bowl of spaghetti, the neural wiring in the brain is arranged in an orderly fashion, like a woven piece of cloth, according to research published today in the journal Science.
Two compounds that enhance the activity of BDNF, a protein needed for the growth of neurons, improve motor skills in mouse models of Rett syndrome and increase the mice’s lifespan.
Neurobeachin, or NBEA, an autism–associated gene, may regulate the transport of signaling molecules to neuronal branches, according to a study published 22 November in Nature Communications.