Tag: synaptic plasticity

October 2012
News

Genetics: More SHANK3 mutations in mild autism cases

by  /  26 October 2012

Mutations in SHANK3, a leading autism risk gene, occur in roughly two percent of individuals with autism spectrum disorders, according to a study published 15 August in the European Journal of Human Genetics.

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News

Astrocytes may play starring role in learning

by  /  14 October 2012

Astrocytes, star-shaped brain cells that support neurons, may be needed for mice to learn motor skills, according to unpublished research presented Saturday at the 2012 Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in New Orleans.

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September 2012
News

Model reveals new links between autism and fragile X

by  /  17 September 2012

Mice that lack the autism-linked gene neuroligin-3 show similar deficits in neuronal connections to those seen in fragile X syndrome, an inherited form of mental retardation, according to research published 13 September in Science. Restoring the gene in adolescent mice reverses the problem, suggesting a potential pathway for treatment.

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July 2012
News

Molecular mechanisms: Mock virus alters offspring’s brain

by  /  20 July 2012

Pregnant rats exposed to a virus give birth to offspring with significantly altered levels of three proteins important for brain development, according to a study published 9 June in Molecular Brain.

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June 2012
News

Immune cells sculpt brain by pruning neuronal connections

by  /  4 June 2012

Immune cells called microglia may play a central role in trimming synapses, the connections between neurons, according to research published 24 May in Neuron. These modifications are part of a normal developmental process by which excess synapses in the brain are destroyed.

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May 2012
News

Molecular mechanisms: Growth factor altered in autism brains

by  /  8 May 2012

The brains of individuals with autism have higher-than-typical levels of the precursor to a neuronal growth factor called BDNF, according to a study published in the April issue of the Journal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology. The results suggest a mechanism for altered brain development in autism.

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April 2012
News

Studies highlight promise of fragile X treatment

by  /  30 April 2012

A promising approach to treating fragile X syndrome could benefit people even after the critical window of early brain development, and alleviate core symptoms of autism, according to two studies published this month.

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News / Toolbox

Researchers map gene expression in the monkey brain

by  /  4 April 2012

Researchers have used gene expression data to create a map of the layers within the neocortex, a brain region involved in sensory perception, motor control and language, of rhesus macaques. The results were published 22 March in Neuron.

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News

Genetics: Rare, common autism variants may function together

by  /  3 April 2012

Researchers have mapped networks of genes expressed at the same time and place in the brain and shown that rare and common autism-linked mutations are likely to function in the same pathways. The results were published 8 March in PLoS Genetics.

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February 2012
News

SHANK2 study bolsters ‘multi-hit’ gene model of autism

by  /  13 February 2012

By screening the genomes of hundreds of people with autism and analyzing the effects of newly identified mutations in cultured neurons, researchers have clarified the disorder’s link to the SHANK2 gene.

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