Scientists have debated the relationship between autism and schizophrenia for decades. A review published last month suggests they are two sides of the same neurobiological coin.
Rare or common, inherited or spontaneous, mutations form the core of autism risk.
Two independent groups have created mice that have deletions or duplications in a large section of chromosome 16. Each team has produced an animal with a different set of features, some of which — such as large head size and repetitive behaviors — are reminiscent of people with autism.
Individuals with a deletion in the 16p11.2 chromosomal region — which has been linked to autism in several studies — show features of autism spectrum disorders including language delay, according to a study published in October.
A controversial new approach that quiets the activity of certain neurons in the brain alleviates breathing difficulties in a mouse model of Rett syndrome, according to a study published 4 October in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Treating adult mice with lithium restores the ability of neurons in fragile X mice to fine-tune their signaling, according to a study published online in November in Brain Research.
The National Database for Autism Research (NDAR), created by the National Institutes of Health to ease data sharing among autism researchers, has released the first batch of data on more than 10,000 participants enrolled in federally funded autism research studies.
Cells drawn from a small sample of children with autism show defects in the functioning of their mitochondria — structures that produce energy to power cellular functions — according to a study published this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Inhibiting the ERK1/2 pathway — which regulates the synthesis of other proteins — can rescue some of the effects of fragile X syndrome, according to a study published 17 November in the Journal of Neuroscience. The ERK pathway could provide a novel target for fragile X therapies.
Researchers have developed a technique to detect interactions in live neurons between neuroligins and neurexins — two proteins known to bind at the junction between neurons, according to a study published 29 October in Cell.