Children with autism have higher levels than controls of dendritic cells, a subset of immune cells, according to a study published 11 October in Brain Behavior and Immunity.
Spectrum: Autism Research News
Postmortem brains from individuals with autism have astrocytes that are smaller but denser than in control brains, according to a study published 21 September in the Journal of Neuroinflammation. The researchers found similar alterations in a mouse that lacks the autism-linked gene NLGN3.
The so-called ‘spiny mouse’ species has a gestational period twice as long as that of typical laboratory mice. This makes them good models for studying the link between prenatal exposure and autism risk, according to a study published 29 August in Brain, Behavior and Immunity.
An altered immune system can cause autism-like behaviors, suggests a study published 31 July in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The researchers found that a bone marrow transplant, which restores the animals’ immune system, alleviates their anxiety and repetitive behavior.
Two new postmortem studies show that microglia, which protect the brain from invaders, are denser and more concentrated around neurons in the brains of individuals with autism than in those of controls.
Immune cells called microglia may play a central role in trimming synapses, the connections between neurons, according to research published 24 May in Neuron. These modifications are part of a normal developmental process by which excess synapses in the brain are destroyed.
Combining functional magnetic resonance imaging of rat brains with a technique that uses light to detect neuronal activity can help researchers hone in on the source of the activity, according to a study published 6 May in Nature Methods.
A bone marrow transplant from healthy mice to those lacking the MeCP2 protein, which causes Rett syndrome, extends lifespan and alleviates symptoms of the disorder, according to research published online 18 March in Nature.
Two networks of genes are abnormally expressed in the brains of people with autism, according to a study published today in Nature.