Mice lacking the autism-linked gene CNTNAP2 show many of the behaviors associated with the disorder, and exhibit brain circuit disruptions similar to those seen in people who carry mutations in the gene.
Researchers have created detailed three-dimensional reconstructions of the numerous complex branches of dendrites, the signal-receiving ends of neurons.
Loss of MeCP2, the Rett syndrome gene, in neurons that release the chemical messenger dopamine may lead to the motor deficits associated with the syndrome.
A powerful cell that dampens electrical signaling in the brain could help unravel the disrupted brain wiring seen in people with autism, according to results presented yesterday at the Wiring the Brain meeting in Ireland.
Neuroligin-4, a protein associated with autism, is located at synapses — the junctions between neurons — that inhibit signals in the brain, according to a study published in February in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The protein can also single-handedly induce neurons derived from human stem cells to form synapses, according to another study in the same issue.
Researchers have identified a rare genetic variant linked to autism in DLX1, a gene that regulates the growth of neurons, they reported in December in the American Journal of Medical Genetics.
People with autism have structural differences in the temporal cortex — a brain region involved in sound and language processing — compared with controls, according to a postmortem study presented Monday at the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in San Diego.
A new mouse model for Rett syndrome shows that disrupting a single brain messenger can produce nearly all of the characteristic features of the syndrome, researchers report today in Nature.
Most inhibitory neurons respond in the same way to a range of visual stimulation, but a subset of them may be tuned in to specific signals, suggest two reports published in September in Neuron.