Researchers are testing a wealth of new treatments for fragile X syndrome, an inherited intellectual disability often accompanied by autism. They presented preliminary results from animal studies of several drugs, as well as an automated approach for screening compounds, Sunday at the 2012 Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in New Orleans.
Spectrum: Autism Research News
Efforts to ease the symptoms of autism are beginning to ramp up, with promising candidates in various stages of testing.
The anxiety drug diazepam, commonly marketed as Valium, reverses deficits in sensory integration in a mouse model of autism, according to research presented Sunday at the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in New Orleans.
A small pilot study suggests that the drug propranolol, typically used to treat hypertension and anxiety, enhances functional connectivity between brain regions and improves verbal fluency, according to research presented Saturday at the 2012 Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in New Orleans.
Star-shaped cells in the brain wrap themselves around synapses, the junctions between neurons, and influence their development. In a video interview Saturday at the 2012 Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in New Orleans, Ben Barres discusses the possible role of astrocytes in autism.
Mice that model Angelman syndrome or have a duplication of the 15q11-13 chromosomal region have aberrant brain levels of the chemical messenger serotonin, according to a study published 16 August in PLoS One.
The nonprofit Allen Institute for Brain Science in Seattle plans to make neurons from stem cells derived from people with a number of different disorders. The resource, described 25 September at a conference in New York, will be available to all scientists.