Babies born to rhesus monkeys infected with the flu virus during pregnancy have significantly smaller brains than normal, and other brain abnormalities seen in schizophrenia, researchers have found. The study, published last month in Biological Psychiatry, provides the first evidence in non-human primates linking flu infection to a higher risk of schizophrenia.
Spectrum: Autism Research News
Young mouse models of fragile X syndrome show a significant lag in the development of synapses, the connections between neurons, according to a study published in Neuron. The findings suggest that a similar mistiming may be responsible for the sensory problems — such as hypersensitivity to touch and sound — sometimes seen in people with fragile X syndrome.
The proposed connection between premature birth and autism may be more complicated than it seems, according to a new report. Early birth may not cause classically defined autism but, rather, may predispose children to autism-like symptoms that are part of a larger syndrome, the researchers say.
A class of medications widely used during pregnancy to treat asthma and prevent early labor increases the baby’s risk of autism and other psychiatric disorders, according to a controversial review in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
Antibodies directed against the fetal brain are present in some mothers of children with autism, confirming previous findings and suggesting that the antibodies could be used as a marker for the disorder, according to unpublished research presented yesterday at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in Chicago.
Mice carrying an autism-associated mutation show impaired social interactions and dramatic changes in brain size when their immune systems are activated, according to research presented yesterday at a poster session at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in Chicago.
Tracy Bale, associate professor of neuroscience at the University of Pennsylvania, talks about what she calls her “big soapbox issue”: the fallacious idea of a true animal model for a human psychiatric disease — and the pitfalls of over-interpreting rodent behavior.