A complicated interplay between a certain genetic variant and autism, schizophrenia and rheumatoid arthritis adds one more intriguing correlation to the growing list of autism risk factors.
Spectrum: Autism Research News
Rare or common, inherited or spontaneous, mutations form the core of autism risk.
Autism studies tend to focus on one part of the spectrum, often excluding those who also have other conditions such as anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder or intellectual disability. The result, some experts say, is piecemeal findings that don’t fit together to generate a whole picture.
Genetic variants in two autism-associated genes have been linked to repetitive behavior and hyperactivity, two common symptoms of the disorder, according to two studies published in the past few months.
By zapping mouse brains with blue and yellow light beams, scientists have manipulated the animals’ social behaviors and bolstered a popular theory of what causes autism.
Giving GLYX-13, a drug that targets an autism-associated brain pathway, to rats bred to be less social increases how much they communicate while playing.
The first study to sequence more than 100 genes on the X chromosome in people with autism or schizophrenia has turned up some promising leads.
A study using action potentials, the electrical impulses that trigger signaling, shows that neurons lacking MeCP2, the Rett syndrome protein, have stronger neuronal signals compared with controls, according to a study published in the July Journal of Neurophysiology.