Jolting a bundle of nerve fibers deep in the brain restores learning and memory in mice with mutations of the autism-linked gene CDKL5.
Spectrum: Autism Research News
Tag: neural circuits
The new technique can record hundreds of thousands of neurons firing nearly simultaneously across big swaths of brain tissue in living mice.
Scientists should heed these differences when considering resting-state brain activity as a biomarker for autism, the researchers say.
Researchers are increasingly turning to simple animals to learn about autism biology and find leads for new drugs.
Mounting evidence suggests that autism often involves upsets in homeostatic plasticity, a set of processes neurons use to stabilize their activity. These disruptions result from a range of autism-linked mutations and may help to explain the condition’s famed heterogeneity.
A new technique can reveal where thousands of neurons send their axons — and measure the cells’ RNA levels for dozens of genes at the same time — in the mouse brain. It could be used to profile neural circuits underlying autism.
When probing the circuits underlying social behavior in animal models of autism, researchers should consider potentially confounding variables, use multiple behavioral assays and report results in a descriptive and unbiased manner.
Thanks to a new engineered protein for optogenetics experiments, researchers can stimulate neurons with less light than usual and avoid damaging brain tissue.