In this edition of Null and Noteworthy, researchers rebut a controversial epidural study, test out autism assessments in toddlers and give the okay for multilingualism in autistic children.
Spectrum: Autism Research News
A genetic therapy and an existing drug both restore typical brain size in mice missing DYRK1A, a top autism candidate gene, in the cerebral cortex, a new study shows. The animals typically have smaller brains than controls.
Children with autism may have increased blood levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor, a protein that spurs the formation of neuronal connections.
Researchers have established a battery of robust rodent assays to screen treatments for Rett syndrome.
Neurons derived from the skin cells of boys with Rett syndrome can help screen potential treatments for the disorder, suggest unpublished results presented yesterday at the 2014 Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in Washington, D.C.
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.
MeCP2, the protein mutated in Rett syndrome, is normally responsible for boosting the expression of a large number of genes. This finding, published 3 October in Cell Stem Cell, may explain why growth factors that promote protein production are able to reverse features of the syndrome in mice.
Rett syndrome affects many cellular pathways, but correcting just one of these with drugs approved for other purposes may be enough to alleviate symptoms of the disorder. This was the message from two presentations Tuesday at the 2013 Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in San Diego.
Mutations in the autism-linked protein NHE6 may block the development of neuronal junctions by interfering with a growth factor called BDNF, according to a study published 2 October in Neuron.