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Spectrum: Autism Research News

Tag: synaptic plasticity

March 2014

No longer junk: Role of long noncoding RNAs in autism risk

by ,  /  4 March 2014

Long pieces of RNA that do not code for protein have diverse and important roles in the cell and may contribute to autism risk, say Nikolaos Mellios and Mriganka Sur.

January 2014

Spontaneous and rare mutations are key in schizophrenia

by  /  30 January 2014

Spontaneous and rare mutations, particularly in genes related to networks that regulate neuronal connections, contribute a small but significant proportion of the risk for schizophrenia, report two large studies published online 22 January in Nature.


Michael Merzenich discusses plasticity in autism

29 January 2014

Watch the complete replay of Michael Merzenich discussing how the brain’s ability to change with experience may lead to new treatments for autism.

August 2013

Brain’s immune cells show intriguing links to autism

by  /  13 August 2013

Emerging evidence indicates that microglia, the brain’s immune cells, are altered in some individuals with autism, raising questions about their role in brain development, says Beth Stevens.

July 2013

Molecular mechanisms: Autism mutation alters brain links

by  /  30 July 2013

Newborn mice with an autism-linked mutation in neuroligin-3, which stabilizes junctions between neurons, have abnormal brain chemistry, according to a study published 4 June in Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience.

June 2013

Kimberly Huber on synapse pruning in autism

26 June 2013

Watch the complete replay of Kimberly Huber discussing the role of autism-linked genes in the natural pruning of brain cell connections. Submit your own follow-up questions.

May 2013

Small pieces of RNA may pave path to autism

by  /  21 May 2013

The discovery of microRNAs that regulate gene expression has changed our view of cellular biochemistry. It may also change our perception of neuropsychiatric disorders such as autism, says Peng Jin.


Light toggles function of signaling proteins

by  /  1 May 2013

Researchers can use light to activate certain proteins that receive signals at the junctions between neurons and that are key targets for fragile X syndrome therapies, according to a study published in the April issue of Nature Neuroscience.

April 2013

Studies show promise for fragile X treatment

by  /  25 April 2013

Researchers have added two new candidates to the arsenal of compounds that alleviate both the behavioral and molecular hallmarks of fragile X syndrome in mice that model the disorder. A third candidate, minocycline, improves some symptoms in children with the disorder.

March 2013

Rho family of enzymes at crossroads of autism

by  /  12 March 2013

A number of autism risk factors converge on one cellular pathway: abnormal remodeling of the cell’s structural systems through the signaling protein Rho, says SFARI’s associate director for research, Alan Packer.

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