TOPIC

The Brain

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

February 2008
News

MEG imaging simplifies mapping of autistic brains

by  /  4 February 2008

Imagine being confined for at least half an hour to a dark, claustrophobic tunnel, in a machine so obnoxiously loud that it sounds like you’re in an oil drum with a jackhammer pounding on the outside. Thatʼs whatʼs involved in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): an experience enough to make even the bravest among us flinch.

1 Comment
January 2008
News

Genes link autism and immunity

by  /  30 January 2008

A new genetic study is lending support to the notion that immune system abnormalities and some forms of autism go hand in hand.

1 Comment
News

Fragile X symptoms reversed in mice

by  /  3 January 2008

Fragile X syndrome is a rare and devastating condition, and a risk factor for autism. New research suggesting the condition is reversible in mice has some wondering whether treatments for the syndrome ― and for some forms of autism ― could be on the horizon.

1 Comment
News / Profiles

Josh Huang: In dogged pursuit of autism’s off switch

by  /  3 January 2008

In 1982, Josh Huang was an impressionable young biology undergraduate at Shanghaiʼs FuDan University. Like some of his fellow Chinese students, he knew he wanted to be a neuroscientist, but with limited access to scientific journals, had no idea which big questions were then at the forefront of research.

0 Comments
December 2007
News

Interpreting gray matter studies not black and white

by  /  18 December 2007

Gray matter, that mysterious brain substance, is thought to control everything from motor function to mental acuity. In recent years several studies have suggested that an excess of gray matter during childhood is to blame for the symptoms of autism.

0 Comments
News

‘Brainbow’ lights up nerve cell connections

by  /  8 December 2007

A new ‘dyeʼ called Brainbow turns drab neurons in mouse brains into multi-colored impressionistic masterpieces.

0 Comments
Opinion / Viewpoint

Leo Kanner’s 1943 paper on autism

by  /  7 December 2007

Donald T. was not like other 5-year-old boys. Leo Kanner knew that the moment he read the 33-page letter from Donaldʼs father that described the boy in obsessive detail as “happiest when he was alone… drawing into a shell and living within himself… oblivious to everything around him.”

25 Comments
News

Maternal flu linked to autism

by  /  7 December 2007

Having the flu during pregnancy can be unpleasant and exhausting. But can it affect fetal brain development and cause autism-like disorders? Intriguing new research says yes ― at least in mice.

0 Comments
News / Profiles

Gordon Fishell: Oracle’s gift to autism

by  /  7 December 2007

Along with answering fundamental questions about mammalian brain organization, watching interneurons’ “handshake” with other brain cells is the key to understanding autism, says Gordon Fishell.

0 Comments