Two independent teams have discovered key molecular steps in the way a single gene disrupts the connections between neurons in individuals with Angelman syndrome. Because the gene, UBE3A, has also been linked to autism, the findings could help scientists understand and treat a range of neurodevelopmental disorders.
Spectrum: Autism Research News
Young mouse models of fragile X syndrome show a significant lag in the development of synapses, the connections between neurons, according to a study published in Neuron. The findings suggest that a similar mistiming may be responsible for the sensory problems — such as hypersensitivity to touch and sound — sometimes seen in people with fragile X syndrome.
With an openness to collaboration and a healthy dose of daring, Evan Eichler has turned his offbeat interest in repeat DNA sequences into a new understanding of how genomes evolve, expediting the search for genes disrupted in autism.
The genetic culprit in fragile X syndrome — a form of mental retardation frequently accompanied by autism — can alter how much fruit flies sleep, according to a study published in the Journal of Neuroscience.
Lithium treatment reverses some of the behavioral and brain-cell abnormalities in mouse models of fragile X syndrome ― an inherited form of mental retardation that includes learning deficits, aggressiveness, and social withdrawal ― according to research presented today at the Society for Neuroscience meeting.