Autism (sometimes called “classical autism”) is the most common condition in a group of developmental disorders known as the autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). Autism is characterized by impaired social interaction, problems with verbal and nonverbal communication, and unusual, repetitive, or severely limited activities and interests. Other ASDs include Asperger syndrome, Rett syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder, and pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (usually referred to as PDD-NOS). Experts estimate that three to six children out of every 1,000 will have autism. Males are four times more likely to have autism than females.
Recent research reveals that people who are hospitalized for depression are at an increased risk of developing conditions like substance abuse, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and anxiety, depending on their genetic predisposition to the individual disorder.
Investigators are learning more about how schizophrenia develops by investigating the most powerful known genetic risk factor.
A University of California, Irvine-led team of researchers working at the Center for Neural Circuit Mapping find links between brain disorders and dysfunction of newly identified inhibitory brain cell types.
How do brain cells, or neurons, distinguish their own processes and those of other neurons when they send out processes to connect with other neurons? A molecule known as clustered protocadherin (Pcdh) plays an important role in this puzzle.
There are genetic variations among children with a rare neurodevelopmental disease, according to a new study headed by the Seaver Autism Center for Study and Treatment at Mount Sinai. This discovery could set the path for a precision medicine approach to treating these children.
Boosting the activity of inhibitory interneurons in Fragile X mice reduced their hypersensitivity to sensory stimuli, according to a new Neuron study led by UCLA Health researchers.
The brain and the digestive tract are in constant communication, relaying signals that help to control feeding and other behaviors.
Alternative splicing, a clever way a cell generates many different variations of messenger RNAs -; single-stranded RNAs involved in protein synthesis -; and proteins from the same stretch of DNA, plays an important role in molecular biology.
Researchers at Kyushu University have uncovered the mechanisms of a fundamental yet critically under-looked phase in brain development: synaptic pruning.
Researchers from the Center for Cognition and Sociality (CCS) within the Institute for Basic Science (IBS) recently announced the discovery of neurons that allow us to recognize others. The research team discovered that the neurons that deal with the information associated with different individuals are located in the CA1 region of the hippocampus.
Humans have long known how to synchronize to rhythms. But now, researchers from Japan have found that movement synchronization spontaneously takes place in macaque monkeys as well.
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory researchers have flipped the script on autism spectrum disorder (ASD) genetics.
A new treatment option has been discovered for fragile X syndrome, which is the most common genetic cause of autism spectrum disorders and is defined by a hereditary repetition of certain nucleotides in the DNA sequence of the FMR1 gene. Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) carried out the study, which was published in the journal Cell.
Mutations of a gene called Foxp2 have been linked to a type of speech disorder called apraxia that makes it difficult to produce sequences of sound. A new study from MIT and National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University sheds light on how this gene controls the ability to produce speech.
A major challenge in human genetics is understanding which parts of the genome drive specific traits or contribute to disease risk. This challenge is even greater for genetic variants found in the 98% of the genome that does not encode proteins.
Among families with children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, Johns Hopkins University researchers say they have found a link between chemical "marks" on DNA in the sperm of fathers and autistic traits in their 3-year-old children.
An extra copy of a gene that controls synapse formation in the cortex causes excessive inhibitory signaling and may contribute to Down syndrome, according to a new study publishing April 20th in the open access journal PLOS Biology by Bing Ye of the University of Michigan, US, and colleagues.
Researchers have discovered an active multi-layer circuit that emerges in the cortex at an unexpectedly early stage of development using a new method for analyzing live embryonic mouse brains at single-cell resolution.
The biological foundations of a reproductive disease caused by a DNA mutation have been discovered by a University of California, Riverside study. Fragile X Syndrome, a major genetic contributor to cerebral impairment and autism, is also caused by this gene mutation.
Long thought of as "brain glue," the star-shaped cells called astrocytes-;members of a family of cells found in the central nervous system called glial that help regulate blood flow, synaptic activity, keep neurons healthy, and play an important role in breathing.