The TSC2 gene, mutations in which cause tuberous sclerosis complex, is needed for budding nerve fibers to find their proper targets in the brain, according to a mouse study published in Nature Neuroscience.
Efforts to ease the symptoms of autism are beginning to ramp up, with promising candidates in various stages of testing.
Genetic variations that tweak the brain’s release of oxytocin — a hormone involved in social bonding and establishing trust — may increase the risk of developing autism or traits of the disorder, according to three new studies published in the past few months.
A large clinical trial to test the first drug specifically designed to treat autism is under way at 12 sites across the United States.
An early intervention method called the Early Start Denver Model can help children with autism improve their language and behavioral skills, and raise their intelligence quotients, according to a study published in Pediatrics.
Astropolis, a dynamic video game, allows for the unprecedented testing of children with autism on a variety of cognitive skills, all at once, without the artificial, boring and anxiety-ridden setup of a typical psychology lab.
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.
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.
Giving mouse models of Rett syndrome access to toys, wheels and contact with other mice rescues motor skill and other deficits characteristic of the disorder, according to results presented in a poster session Wednesday at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in Chicago.