Two new studies of families carrying glitches on a region of chromosome 16, which has been strongly associated with autism, reveal the wide range of effects caused by the variant and narrow the list of possible culprit genes.
Spectrum: Autism Research News
Tag: brain imaging
Children with autism show abnormally strong synchrony between deep and outer layers of the brain, according to a study published online 31 December in Biological Psychiatry.
The brains of people with autism show three distinct periods of abnormal development — overgrowth in infancy, prematurely arrested growth in childhood, and shrinking between adolescence and middle age — according to a study in Brain Research.
Using tricks of genetic engineering, researchers in Taiwan have created the first comprehensive map of the myriad neuronal connections in the fruit fly brain. The findings appeared 11 January in Current Biology.
The goal of studying siblings of children with autism is to identify an early diagnostic marker for the disorder. What researchers are finding instead are distinct traits shared by family members who remain healthy.
Over the next five years, dozens of researchers funded by the $40 million ‘NIH Human Connectome Project’ will map the circuits of the human brain, tracing neural pathways and learning how different regions work together in synchrony.
Scientists are changing their minds about the role of microglia, the brain’s strongest and most agile soldiers against damage and infection. In healthy brains, microglia help build and eliminate synapses, the junctions between neurons, according to a study published 2 November in PLoS Biology.
Two independent groups have created mice that have deletions or duplications in a large section of chromosome 16. Each team has produced an animal with a different set of features, some of which — such as large head size and repetitive behaviors — are reminiscent of people with autism.