Researchers can coax human stem cells to grow into layered structures that mimic the brain’s center for motor control, the cerebellum.
The autism-linked gene AUTS2 activates a group of genes that may be important for early brain development. The findings, published 18 December in Nature, hint at AUTS2’s potential role in autism and other developmental disorders.
An overabundance of neuronal connections in the brains of people with autism may contribute to the motor impairments associated with the disorder.
A treatment that targets the genetic defect in tuberous sclerosis prevents autism-like symptoms in mice at 6 weeks of age — the mouse equivalent of adolescence. Researchers presented the unpublished results yesterday at the 2014 Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in Washington, D.C.
Thought until recently to only coordinate motor skills, the cerebellum is involved in diverse cognitive functions such as language and social interaction, and may play a role in autism, says Emanuel DiCicco-Bloom.
A net decrease in inhibitory signals in the cerebellum may underlie the movement problems seen in the autism-related disorder Angelman syndrome, according to mouse research published 5 December in Science Translational Medicine.
A new microscopy technique allows researchers to take high-resolution three-dimensional images of intact mouse brains.
Two well-known mouse models of autism show abnormal reactions to an eye-blinking test that relies on the cerebellum, a brain region that helps integrate sensory information and plan movements. The unpublished results were presented in a poster Monday at the 2012 Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in New Orleans.
Losing one or both copies of TSC1, one of the two genes responsible for tuberous sclerosis complex, in specific cells of the cerebellum can trigger several autism-like behaviors in mice, according to research published 1 July in Nature.
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