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The Brain

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

October 2009
News

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gene in cultured human neurons causes a dramatic imbalance of excitation and inhibition in cell signaling, according to unpublished results presented today at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in Chicago.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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Lack of corpus callosum linked to autistic features

by  /  20 October 2009

People born without the large bundle of nerve fibers that bridges the brain’s hemispheres have trouble identifying fearful faces, and don’t look preferentially at others’ eyes to perform this task, according to research presented Sunday at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in Chicago.

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Immune activation triggers autism features in mice

by  /  20 October 2009

Mice carrying an autism-associated mutation show impaired social interactions and dramatic changes in brain size when their immune systems are activated, according to research presented yesterday at a poster session at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in Chicago.

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Language gene linked to interneuron growth

by  /  20 October 2009

A gene tied to autism and language impairment is crucial for the early development and migration of inhibitory interneurons, according to research presented Monday at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in Chicago.

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CNTNAP2 variants alter brain connectivity

by  /  19 October 2009

Adolescents who carry certain common variants in a gene associated with autism — whether they have the disorder or not — show abnormal connectivity between brain regions, according to unpublished data presented at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in Chicago.

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Mitochondrial gene variants protect from autism

by  /  18 October 2009

Two variants in a gene needed for the cell’s energy balance may protect the carriers from autism, according to an unpublished study presented today at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in Chicago.

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Cancer pathway yields mouse model for autism

by  /  18 October 2009

Mice missing FKBP12, a gene involved in a cancer pathway, show repetitive behavior and an impaired ability to socialize with other mice, and could be used to study autism, according to unpublished results presented at a poster session today at the Society for Neuroscience meeting.

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Imaging software explains contradictory brain data

by  /  18 October 2009

Computer software that maps the three dimensions of the brain has found that people with schizophrenia have deep grooves and small volumes in brain areas associated with planning and executive control.

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Synaptic proteins help neurons grow

by  /  17 October 2009

Proteins associated with autism mediate the growth of spiny neuronal projections, called dendrites, that form brain circuits in early life, according to unpublished research presented today at the Society for Neuroscience meeting.

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