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The Brain

Charting the structure and function of the brain’s many circuits may unravel autism’s mysteries.

November 2009
News

Variants in synaptic protein linked to autism

by  /  9 November 2009

Scientists have identified several autism-specific variants in a gene that lies within a chromosomal region linked to the disorder, according to a poster presented at the World Congress of Psychiatric Genetics in San Diego.

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Point mutation in neuroligin found in brothers with autism

by  /  6 November 2009

A new mutation in the neuroligin-4 (NLGN4) gene, one of the few genes convincingly tied to autism, has been found in two brothers with autism, further implicating the gene in the disorder, scientists reported in the Journal of Neuroscience.

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Autism marked by altered trajectory of brain growth

by  /  3 November 2009

Although the head overall is bigger in some children with autism, researchers have found more informative differences in size — some smaller, some larger — across regions of the brain.

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October 2009
News

Mounting evidence links language pathway to autism

by  /  26 October 2009

A pathway involved in language development is increasingly proving to be important in autism, suggest a series of new studies on cellular and behavioral aspects of the disorder.

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Enriched environment improves symptoms of Rett

by  /  23 October 2009

Giving mouse models of Rett syndrome access to toys, wheels and contact with other mice rescues motor skill and other deficits characteristic of the disorder, according to results presented in a poster session Wednesday at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in Chicago.

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Gene on chromosome 22 leads to autism mouse model

by  /  22 October 2009

Mice lacking a gene located in the chromosomal region 22q13 — which has been linked to autism — have motor learning and social deficits reminiscent of the disorder, according to unpublished findings presented in a poster session yesterday at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in Chicago.

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Fragile X mice marked by immature synapses

by  /  21 October 2009

Young mice that mimic fragile X syndrome have immature and unstable dendritic spines, the neuronal branches that receive signals from other cells, according to unpublished research presented Tuesday at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in Chicago.

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Postmortem study hints at two types of autism

by  /  21 October 2009

The brains of people with autism show high levels of inflammation compared with controls, suggests a study of postmortem brain tissue from 11 individuals with autism, presented at a poster session Monday at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in Chicago.

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MeCP2 loss ups inhibitory signaling

by  /  21 October 2009

Selectively disrupting an autism-related gene in cultured human neurons causes a dramatic imbalance of excitation and inhibition in cell signaling, according to unpublished results presented today at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in Chicago.

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Neuroligin mutation triggers oxidative stress

by  /  20 October 2009

Deleting a neuronal protein associated with autism causes oxidative stress — characterized by an excess of free radicals — which has been linked to diseases such as diabetes and Alzheimer’s, according to new research in worms. The results were presented yesterday at a poster session at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in Chicago.

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