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Spectrum: Autism Research News

Tag: synaptic plasticity

December 2010

Molecular mechanisms: Lithium treats adult fragile X symptoms

by  /  8 December 2010

Treating adult mice with lithium restores the ability of neurons in fragile X mice to fine-tune their signaling, according to a study published online in November in Brain Research.

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November 2010

Rett gene needed to stabilize synaptic strength

by  /  16 November 2010

Blocking the expression of the MeCP2 gene decreases the number of synapses, the junctions between neurons. It also prevents synapses from scaling up their activity to make up for the loss, according to unpublished data shown yesterday at the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in San Diego.

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September 2010

Studies tie fragile X syndrome to famous cancer pathway

by  /  23 September 2010

A drug that interferes with a biochemical pathway important in cancer can reverse some brain defects in mouse models of fragile X syndrome, according to a study published 11 August in the Journal of Neuroscience.

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July 2010

Synaptic defects link autism, schizophrenia

by  /  2 July 2010

Several independent groups have found previously unknown risk genes for autism, schizophrenia and mental retardation. The candidate genes have one thing in common: they encode proteins that are needed for the healthy function of synapses, the junctions between neurons.

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April 2010

Scientists find molecular player in Angelman syndrome

by  /  27 April 2010

Two independent teams have discovered key molecular steps in the way a single gene disrupts the connections between neurons in individuals with Angelman syndrome. Because the gene, UBE3A, has also been linked to autism, the findings could help scientists understand and treat a range of neurodevelopmental disorders.

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March 2010

Delay found in development of fragile X brains

by  /  26 March 2010

Young mouse models of fragile X syndrome show a significant lag in the development of synapses, the connections between neurons, according to a study published in Neuron. The findings suggest that a similar mistiming may be responsible for the sensory problems — such as hypersensitivity to touch and sound — sometimes seen in people with fragile X syndrome.

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Learning opportunities

by  /  23 March 2010

There are several short periods during development in which our brains are ‘plastic’ — meaning that neuronal connections appear and disappear depending on how much they are used. Researchers may have found a way to reopen those learning windows.

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October 2009

Enriched environment improves symptoms of Rett

by  /  23 October 2009

Giving mouse models of Rett syndrome access to toys, wheels and contact with other mice rescues motor skill and other deficits characteristic of the disorder, according to results presented in a poster session Wednesday at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in Chicago.

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Cancer pathway yields mouse model for autism

by  /  18 October 2009

Mice missing FKBP12, a gene involved in a cancer pathway, show repetitive behavior and an impaired ability to socialize with other mice, and could be used to study autism, according to unpublished results presented at a poster session today at the Society for Neuroscience meeting.

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February 2008

Mouse models for autism debut

by  /  19 February 2008

Two research groups have achieved an elusive goal: producing mouse models that show distinct social and behavioral abnormalities reminiscent of autism.

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