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Spectrum: Autism Research News

Tag: synaptic plasticity

August 2016

New tool spotlights neuron junctions in living human brains

by  /  19 August 2016

A new imaging technique allows researchers to illuminate the junctions between neurons in a living person’s brain.

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February 2016

The brain’s secret gardeners

by  /  3 February 2016

Once thought merely to be specialized immune system cells, microglia now appear to be master landscapers of the developing brain.

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October 2015

Microglia may play multiple roles in shaping brain

by  /  20 October 2015

Scientists have discovered a new way that microglia, the immune cells of the brain, can sculpt brain circuits.

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September 2015
Portrait of Beth Stevens.

Beth Stevens: Casting immune cells as brain sculptors

by  /  24 September 2015

Beth Stevens is unmasking new roles for microglia, the mysterious brain cells that seem to shape brain circuits.

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June 2015

Enzyme’s discovery points to new approach for fragile X

by  /  16 June 2015

Researchers have discovered an enzyme that lowers brain levels of FMRP, the protein missing in people with fragile X syndrome. Blocking the enzyme may ease fragile X symptoms in people with the disorder who have low levels of FMRP and mild symptoms.

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Cell skeleton breakdown may spur autism symptoms in mice

by  /  15 June 2015

An autism-linked mutation in the SHANK3 gene alters the protein skeleton of mouse neurons. Repairing the scaffold eases the animals’ social deficits.

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May 2015

Cheap chips let scientists eavesdrop on chatting neurons

by  /  6 May 2015

Inexpensive ‘chips’ imprinted with tiny wells and channels provide a glimpse of neurons communicating in culture.

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March 2015

Treatment eases fragile X symptoms in flies, mice

by  /  9 March 2015

Blocking an enzyme involved in learning and memory corrects brain abnormalities and improves memory in fly and mouse models of fragile X syndrome.

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February 2015
Young girl reading a book

Questions for Elizabeth Berry-Kravis: Measuring drug effects

by  /  17 February 2015

Drugs designed to treat fragile X syndrome have yet to show substantial benefits in people. But rather than abandon them, child neurologist Elizabeth Berry-Kravis suggests a new way to measure their effectiveness.

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January 2015

Drug abates symptoms in two genetic models of autism

by  /  19 January 2015

Drugs developed to treat fragile X syndrome may also work for autism because both disorders feature defects at neuronal junctions, suggests a paper published 12 January in Nature Neuroscience.

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