Autism, schizophrenia and intellectual disability share underlying deficits in pathways that regulate how the brain encodes new experiences, says Jason Shepherd.
A new algorithm allows researchers to search among hundreds of genes and identify those involved in building synapses, the junctions that transmit signals between neurons, according to a report published 14 March in PLoS One.
Prenatal exposure of rats to the epilepsy drug valproic acid leads to behavioral and brain features that resemble autism, in males more than in females, according to a study published in the March issue of the Journal of Neurochemistry.
The protein lacking in fragile X syndrome works with three autism-linked proteins to fine-tune the connections between neurons, according to a study published 21 December in Cell.
A gene linked to some types of Rett syndrome is needed for the stability of connections between neurons, according to research published 4 September in Nature Cell Biology.
Neurobeachin, or NBEA, an autism–associated gene, may regulate the transport of signaling molecules to neuronal branches, according to a study published 22 November in Nature Communications.
Three mutations in SHANK2, an autism-associated gene, each lead to abnormal synapses, the junctions between neurons, according to a study in Human Molecular Genetics.
Small fragments of RNA, called microRNAs, can fine-tune the levels of proteins at the junctions between neurons in response to cell signals, according to a study published 10 June in Molecular Cell.