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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.

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.

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.

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.


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.