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Spectrum: Autism Research News

Tag: synaptic plasticity

September 2022

Oxytocin lessons from autism-linked syndromes: A chat with Christian Schaaf and Ferdinand Althammer

by  /  7 September 2022

Oxytocin therapies have failed to consistently benefit autistic people, but their effects in people with two autism-linked conditions may yield new insights, experts argue.

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July 2022

Plethora of protein-making machines in neurons may underlie fragile X

by  /  21 July 2022

An overabundance of ribosomes drives an imbalance of proteins produced from long and short genetic transcripts in a mouse model of fragile X syndrome.

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June 2022
black-and-white image of a burst of neuron activity, indicated by the neurons flashing brightly and simultaneously

Autism-linked mutation alters neuronal network activity

by  /  7 June 2022

Neurons with a faulty copy of SETD1A, a gene tied to autism and schizophrenia, show structural abnormalities and altered connectivity patterns.

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May 2022

SYNGAP1 protein boosts cognition, blocks seizures in mice

by  /  4 May 2022

Ramping up levels of one isoform of the autism-linked protein reverses traits in model mice, a new study shows.

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February 2022
Conceptual illustration of child sleeping under blanket with multiple EEG waves overlaid on top and a window on left showing it is daytime and window on right showing nighttime.

Cracking autism’s sleep conundrum

by  /  25 February 2022

Sleep problems may contribute to or derive from autism traits — or both. After decades of work, researchers are beginning to uncover the biological connections between the two conditions, revealing new paths to potential treatments.

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January 2022
Micrograph showing distinct RNA species found in CA1 hippocampal neuronal cell bodies (yellow) and dendrites (red) undergoing compartmentalized RNA regulation.

Location prompts fragile X protein to flip its function

by  /  31 January 2022

The protein, FMRP, shapes cell signaling near synapses but switches to regulate genes in the cell body, according to new research.

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New method spotlights synaptic plasticity in living mice

by  /  5 January 2022

Mice that express a fluorescent synaptic receptor reveal the interactions between neurons in unprecedented detail.

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November 2021

Dispatches from SfN 2021: Mitochondria, Rett therapy and oxytocin

These short reports from Spectrum journalists highlight some of the autism-related findings that caught our attention at the meeting this past week.

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Fragile X theory falters on amygdala test

by  /  10 November 2021

Activating certain receptors in the amygdala — a treatment that runs counter to a leading theory of what causes the condition — can reverse some traits in rats.

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October 2021

Autism-linked gene SYNGAP1 molds synaptic plasticity, learning

by  /  21 October 2021

Even partial loss of the gene impairs the mouse brain’s ability to respond to sensory experiences, which may explain why people with SYNGAP1 mutations tend to have learning difficulties and a high pain tolerance.

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