Only people who already have social impairment benefit from oxytocin, researchers say.
Efforts to ease the symptoms of autism are beginning to ramp up, with promising candidates in various stages of testing.
A drug that interferes with a biochemical pathway important in cancer can reverse some brain defects in mouse models of fragile X syndrome, according to a study published 11 August in the Journal of Neuroscience.
The protein missing in fragile X syndrome is necessary for the proper development of neural stem cells — self-renewing cells that can differentiate into more specialized types, including neurons — according to a paper published in the August issue of Human Molecular Genetics.
A decade ago, children with disabilities were almost always separated into their own rooms — or even buildings — with specialized teachers and lessons. But some research since then has shown that many of these children can learn well alongside healthy children, and vice versa.
The amygdala, a brain region that regulates fear and anxiety, shows abnormal neuronal signaling in a mouse model of fragile X syndrome, according to two studies published this summer. These are the first to explore cellular defects in the region in fragile X.
People with autism are asserting their right to be different. They say so-called ‘neurotypicals’ are the ones with communication problems, relying on the ‘animalistic means’ of body language, and they don’t understand why their focused, repetitive behaviors are thought to be problematic when neurotypicals indulge in obsessions such as sports and soap operas.
Mouse models of fragile X syndrome show defects in two kinds of potassium channels — ubiquitous pores that control the flow of electrical current across neurons — in a brain area that processes sound, according to two papers published this summer.
If you believe the hype about oxytocin, it’s nothing short of a wonder drug: it can make you trust a stranger, enhance a mother’s bond with her child and, according to a study published earlier this year, improve social skills in individuals with autism. But look more closely, and there is ample cause for caution.