Knocking out an autism-linked gene called PTEN only in neural stem cells of the hippocampus, a brain region central to learning and memory, throws the development of new neurons off course in adult mice, according to research published last month in the Journal of Neuroscience.
Spectrum: Autism Research News
Tag: brain size
Autism and antisocial disorder are separate conditions, with distinct differences in underlying brain structure, according to a neuroimaging study of the general population. The results were published 4 April in The Journal of Neuroscience.
Individuals with autism may belong to one of four groups with discrete sets of symptoms, the most distinct of which includes immune system abnormalities accompanied by sleep problems and sensory sensitivity. The results were published in the April issue of Autism Research.
Postmortem brain tissue from people with autism shows differences in the expression of genes involved in a number of molecular pathways, including those that control cortical patterning, programmed cell death and differentiation, according to research published last month in PLoS Genetics.
The largest brain imaging study ever performed has identified candidate genes that influence brain size and general intelligence, according to research published 15 April in Nature Genetics.
Children with autism have a smaller corpus callosum, a bundle of nerve fibers that connects the two hemispheres of the brain, compared with controls, and this difference persists over two years of development, according to a study published 18 February in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.
Adults with autism have regional differences in brain volume in areas that play a role in social behavior and communication compared with controls, according to a large study published in the February issue of Archives of General Psychiatry. The differences correlate with the severity of autism symptoms, the study also shows.
Mutations in more than 100 autism-associated genes lead to shared neurobiological deficits in mice, including alterations in the shape of their brains and changes to the electrical properties of neurons, according to a study published 20 February in Molecular Autism.
Dysregulation of the intracellular signaling pathway RAS, a risk factor for idiopathic autism, may provide a unifying theory of the disorder. Although this is not an altogether new hypothesis, several new findings have strengthened the evidence for it considerably.