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The Brain

Charting the structure and function of the brain’s many circuits may unravel autism’s mysteries.

January 2021
Illustration of firing neurons.
News

Autism protein may shape neuronal firing patterns

by  /  14 January 2021

Cells with excess UBE3A, an autism-linked protein, have atypical firing properties that can be corrected by limiting the protein’s levels, according to new research.

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News

Lost sleep sparks lasting social problems in SHANK3 mice

by  /  14 January 2021

Sleep disruption early in life has long-lasting consequences for mice missing a copy of the autism-linked gene SHANK3.

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Mouse with her pup
News

Malfunctioning neurons mute sound processing in mouse model of Rett syndrome

by  /  14 January 2021

Female mice missing a copy of the autism-linked gene MECP2 in a specific set of inhibitory neurons have a hard time heeding pups’ calls and herding litters.

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Mouse on gray background looks at something out of frame.
News

Inability to attend to cues may cause sensory challenges in fragile X mice

by  /  14 January 2021

Sensory problems in people with fragile X syndrome may stem from hyperactive neurons, a mouse model study suggests.

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Scans of mouse brain slices showing differences in oxytocin levels
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Oxytocin alters brain activity to boost sociability in mice missing autism gene

by  /  13 January 2021

Infusions of the hormone oxytocin may make mice that model autism more social by normalizing their brain activity patterns.

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Boy sleeping in low light
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Brain-wave patterns flag sleep differences in dup15q syndrome

by  /  13 January 2021

Children with dup15q syndrome may have telltale patterns of brain activity during sleep and get less non-REM sleep than neurotypical children do.

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News

Two top autism genes may have a mechanism in common

by  /  13 January 2021

Mutations in two genes linked to autism and intellectual disability boost the immune response and cause synapse dysfunction.

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neurons in mice
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Sensory perception, cell signals disrupted in people and mice missing autism gene

by  /  13 January 2021

People and mice with only one working copy of the autism gene SYNGAP1 may have trouble processing sights and sounds.

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Mouse brain scan video still in black and white.
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New mouse brain atlas traces connections in fine detail

by  /  13 January 2021

A new wiring diagram of the mouse brain could help autism researchers better study how brain connections vary in mice with different genetic backgrounds.

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Face stimuli displaying neutral emotions and EEG electrode recording sites.
News

Brain response to facial features may lag in autistic people

by  /  13 January 2021

Looking at eyes, noses and mouths may prompt slower recognition in the brains of autistic people than in those of non-autistic people.

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