The neurons of people with Rett syndrome contain an overabundance of retrotransposons — DNA sequences that copy and insert themselves into new spots throughout the genome — during early development, according to a study published 18 November in Nature.
Spectrum: Autism Research News
Efforts to ease the symptoms of autism are beginning to ramp up, with promising candidates in various stages of testing.
Positive reinforcement can help children with autism break out of repetitive patterns of play. Results from a study broadly suggest that behavioral intervention can improve creativity in these children.
A controversial new approach that quiets the activity of certain neurons in the brain alleviates breathing difficulties in a mouse model of Rett syndrome, according to a study published 4 October in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Treating adult mice with lithium restores the ability of neurons in fragile X mice to fine-tune their signaling, according to a study published online in November in Brain Research.
Cells drawn from a small sample of children with autism show defects in the functioning of their mitochondria — structures that produce energy to power cellular functions — according to a study published this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Inhibiting the ERK1/2 pathway — which regulates the synthesis of other proteins — can rescue some of the effects of fragile X syndrome, according to a study published 17 November in the Journal of Neuroscience. The ERK pathway could provide a novel target for fragile X therapies.
Areas of the brain that are active when people are daydreaming or sleeping, and quiet when they are engaged in a task, are imperfectly synchronized in people with autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, researchers say.
Minocycline, an antibiotic approved to treat various infections including acne, can increase vocalizations and provide long-lasting improvements in anxiety in a fragile X mouse model, according to two posters presented at the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in San Diego.