TOPIC

The Brain

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

December 2009
News

Mounting evidence fingers mitochondria in autism risk

by  /  8 December 2009

Using new genetic screening technology, a few research groups are finding that a surprisingly large number of children with autism — at least five percent — have an underlying problem with their mitochondria, the energy factories of the cell.

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News

Autism shares features with cerebellar syndromes

by  /  3 December 2009

There are clinical, anatomical and genetic overlaps between autism and certain rare developmental disorders of the cerebellum, and these disorders may help scientists understand autism, according to several studies published in the past year.

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November 2009
News

Baby sib studies reveal differences in brain response

by  /  30 November 2009

Studies on younger siblings of children with autism are finding that during tests of sensory or perceptual processing, these baby sibs show abnormally fast brain responses, rather than a delay.

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News

Loss of inhibitory neurons marks autism mouse models

by  /  24 November 2009

Autism may be the result of faulty wiring that occurs during early brain development, according to two independent studies that looked at the origins of circuit disruption.

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News

MeCP2 loss leads to smaller neurons in brain region

by  /  18 November 2009

Deleting MeCP2, the gene that’s mutated in Rett syndrome, alters both the size and function of neurons in the mouse brain — at least in one brain region, the locus ceruleus — according to a 30 September report in the Journal of Neuroscience.

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Opinion

Double trouble

by  /  17 November 2009

Rare mutations that increase the risk of neuro-psychiatric diseases usually occur in only one copy of a gene. What happens when both copies are mutated?

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News

Amygdala found to govern notion of personal space

by  /  13 November 2009

A report in the October issue of Nature Neuroscience says the amygdala — the brain region that controls emotions, as well as the way individuals interpret and respond to social situations and recognize possible threats — governs the preference for personal space.

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News

Autism study zooms in on five-gene strip on chromosome 16

by  /  10 November 2009

Genetic analysis of one Belgian family with a history of autism has pinpointed a piece of DNA on chromosome 16, within a segment thought to be missing in about one percent of all cases of autism. The unpublished data was presented on Saturday at the World Congress of Psychiatric Genetics in San Diego.

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News

Massive genomics project unveils schizophrenia results

by  /  10 November 2009

The Psychiatric GWAS Consortium has released its first batch of analyses, identifying several significant common variations associated with schizophrenia. The results were presented Sunday at the World Congress of Psychiatric Genetics in San Diego.

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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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