Mice with faulty SHANK3 mimic autism features in people

by  /  26 September 2016

Mice with a genetic glitch in just one copy of SHANK3, a leading candidate gene for autism, show brain and behavioral features of the condition.

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Gene geography: A novel trick reveals where in a mouse brain three different genes (colored dots) are active

Method maps position of thousands of active genes in brain

by  /  23 September 2016
A new technique acts as a genetic geolocator, pinpointing the precise location of genes that are expressed in the brain.
Turn around: Studies are starting to show that exercise may be a critical component of autism therapy.Westend61 /  Getty Images

Exercise gives children with autism jump on social skills

by  /  22 September 2016
Dozens of small studies suggest that physical activity offers behavioral benefits for children with autism.
News / Spotted
Week of SeptemberSep

Facebook funds; trials on trial; meeting of minds

by  /  23 September 2016
Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan pledge $3 billion to treat disease, new rules require researchers to share clinical trial results, and neuroscientists unite for big brain projects.

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Double dose: Adding a second medication to a treatment for irritability may curb unwelcome weight gain in children with autism.Image Source / Getty Images

Diabetes drug slows weight gain in some children with autism

by  /  28 September 2016

Metformin can reverse weight gain in children with autism who take antipsychotic medications.

Juanmonino / iStock

Depression is little-discussed as women’s health issue

by ,  /  27 September 2016

Depression is twice as common in women as it is in men, yet many do not receive the help they need, in part due to the stigma surrounding mental health issues.

Selena and her daughter Laney, 8, sit on the porch of their home in Spartanburg, S.C. Jenny Gold / KHN

Parents battle for children’s mental health services at school

by ,  /  21 September 2016

One in five children in the United States have a psychiatric condition, but schools often lack the training and resources they need to give these students the support they need.

Junction malfunction: Brain tissue from mice missing MeCP2 (right) has fewer excitatory synapses (green) than that of controls (left).

Brain’s immune cells may only play bit part in Rett syndrome

by  /  21 September 2016

Contrary to some previous reports, microglia may not play a central role in initiating Rett syndrome.

Key clusters: New software that maps how groups of genes interact in the brain implicates certain molecular pathways in autism.

Novel software spots scores of new autism candidates

by  /  19 September 2016

Researchers have trained a computer algorithm to recognize the characteristics of autism genes.

Making connections: Neurons derived from the dental cells of a child with Williams syndrome form more synapses than usual (yellow).

Tooth fairy delivers drug target for boosting social interest

by  /  16 September 2016

Cells derived from the dental pulp of children with Williams syndrome hint at a treatment approach for autism.

In sync: 
 Neurons in the hippocampus of mice with too much (middle) or too little (bottom) MeCP2 fire more synchronously (black arrows) than do those in controls (top).

Loss, doubling of Rett gene produce similar brain glitch

by  /  15 September 2016

Mice with either too little or too much MeCP2, the gene mutated in Rett syndrome, show similar malfunctions in a learning and memory circuit.

Arrested development: Mouse embryos lacking one copy of CHD8 (top) show gene expression patterns hinting at developmental delay.

Mice missing top autism gene make their debut

by  /  12 September 2016

Mice lacking one copy of CHD8, a key autism gene, show signs of social deficits and broad changes in gene expression.

Family portrait: A study of the whole genomes of 200 parent-child trios offers a broad view of how rare genetic variants may contribute to autism.Hero Images / Getty Images

Mutations tied to autism rife in ‘junk’ DNA

by  /  9 September 2016

More than one-third of the spontaneous mutations linked to autism crop up in genomic segments that do not code for genes.

Crowd sourcing:  A database of genetic variation across thousands of individuals shows that more than 100 mutations thought to be harmful are actually benign. woraput / iStock

Huge data-sharing venture lays bare human genetic variation

by  /  8 September 2016

A landmark collection of gene sequences from more than 60,000 people can help researchers spot mutations linked to autism.

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