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The Brain

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

January 2021
girl about to catch a ball
News

Autistic children may have trouble predicting movements

by  /  15 January 2021

Autistic children may have a harder time catching a ball than non-autistic children do, possibly because they are less able to predict its trajectory.

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Illustration of firing neurons.
News

Autism protein may shape neuronal firing patterns

by  /  14 January 2021

Cells with excess UBE3A, an autism-linked protein, have atypical firing properties that can be corrected by limiting the protein’s levels, according to new research.

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News

Lost sleep sparks lasting social problems in SHANK3 mice

by  /  14 January 2021

Sleep disruption early in life has long-lasting consequences for mice missing a copy of the autism-linked gene SHANK3.

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Mouse with her pup
News

Malfunctioning neurons mute sound processing in mouse model of Rett syndrome

by  /  14 January 2021

Female mice missing a copy of the autism-linked gene MECP2 in a specific set of inhibitory neurons have a hard time heeding pups’ calls and herding litters.

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Mouse on gray background looks at something out of frame.
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Inability to attend to cues may cause sensory challenges in fragile X mice

by  /  14 January 2021

Sensory problems in people with fragile X syndrome may stem from hyperactive neurons, a mouse model study suggests.

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Scans of mouse brain slices showing differences in oxytocin levels
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Oxytocin alters brain activity to boost sociability in mice missing autism gene

by  /  13 January 2021

Infusions of the hormone oxytocin may make mice that model autism more social by normalizing their brain activity patterns.

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Boy sleeping in low light
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Brain-wave patterns flag sleep differences in dup15q syndrome

by  /  13 January 2021

Children with dup15q syndrome may have telltale patterns of brain activity during sleep and get less non-REM sleep than neurotypical children do.

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News

Two top autism genes may have a mechanism in common

by  /  13 January 2021

Mutations in two genes linked to autism and intellectual disability boost the immune response and cause synapse dysfunction.

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neurons in mice
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Sensory perception, cell signals disrupted in people and mice missing autism gene

by  /  13 January 2021

People and mice with only one working copy of the autism gene SYNGAP1 may have trouble processing sights and sounds.

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Mouse brain scan video still in black and white.
News

New mouse brain atlas traces connections in fine detail

by  /  13 January 2021

A new wiring diagram of the mouse brain could help autism researchers better study how brain connections vary in mice with different genetic backgrounds.

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