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.
Primary cilia are structures that act like antennas for cells to identify signals and occur less in mice affected by Fragile X syndrome since birth.
The ability of the human brain to process and store information is determined to a large extent by the connectivity between nerve cells. Chemical synapses are very important in this context as they constitute the interface for the transmission of information between individual nerve cells.
Oxytocin is the so-called “cuddle hormone” or “love hormone” that plays a role in strengthening the relationship between the mother and child and controlling social bonding.
Some individuals love meeting new people, while others abhor the idea. For individuals with conditions such as autism, unfamiliar social interactions can produce negative emotions such as fear and anxiety.
Penn State researchers have developed a new method for studying key moments in brain development. Yongsoo Kim, assistant professor of neural and behavioral sciences at Penn State College of Medicine, is using the method to understand how oxytocin receptor expression changes in normally developing mice and mouse models of autism spectrum disorder.
Researchers at IIT-Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (Italian Institute of Technology) discovered a novel chemical compound, which has the potential to became a new drug for the treatment of core symptoms of brain disorders like Down syndrome and autism.
Ion channels are essentially passageways through membranes that transport signals to a cell’s environment and enable it to respond.
Researchers at the University of Colorado School of Medicine have identified how specific brain cells interacting during development could be related to neurological and neuropsychiatric diseases, including some that occur later in life.
An adjusted sequence of genetic events should occur to allow the budding brain of a human embryo to turn into the organ that regulates human consciousness.
Researchers have discovered that a living cell’s system meant for avoiding genetic damage can fail so much that it would be better off without it.
Tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) is a neurological disorder causing non-cancerous tumors, called cortical tubers, to grow throughout the brain and body, as well as other conditions like epilepsy and autism.
Korea Brain Research Institute (KBRI, headed by Suh Pann-ghill) announced on the 11th that the research team led by Dr. Mun Ji-young revealed the mechanism of autism induced by an imbalance of human gut microorganisms.
Brain function depends on inhibitory cells that balance or 'brake' excitation. These neurons allow the brain to process information and also prevent runaway seizures.
Osteoclasts are bone-dissolving cells that are extracted from a type of immune cell referred to as macrophages which are required for the maintenance of bones.
Researchers are not clear whether mucus is the first line of defense against bad bacteria in the human gut.
A study analyzing data from the Rhode Island Consortium for Autism Research and Treatment (RI-CART) found that only 3% of individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder reported having fully received clinical genetic tests recommended by medical professional societies.
Autism has long been associated only with behavioral and environmental factors, but the role of genetics in its development is now increasingly evident. Some 100 genes have been found to play a role in autism spectrum disorder, and another thousand are being studied to the same end.
The human gut microbiota consists of bacteria, fungi, and viruses constituting an inner chemical factory producing a multitude of microbial compounds.
About 350 years ago, Robert Hooke provided an initial description of a cell in Micrographia, and since then, microscopy has played a major role in figuring out life’s rules.
In a study published recently in the eLife journal, researchers have reported that the combined effects of rare and damaging mutations that occur at birth itself have adverse effects on health span and longevity.