Study reveals a signaling pathway that controls the formation of synapses between pyramidal neurons and inhibitory neurons expressing the parvalbumin protein.
The TOP2a gene controls a network of genes that contribute to ASD. Drugs that suppress TOP2a during development can turn on a cluster of other genes that disrupt brain development and increase autism risks. Alterations to the TOP2a gene may be responsible for the social behavioral difficulties associated with ASD.
The loss of the Arid1b gene interferes with brain cells implicated in signaling inhibition. Reduced inhibitory signaling has previously been associated with a range of autism-related behaviors.
Researchers have identified patterns of white matter connectivity exclusive to core symptoms of autism. The study also reveals many structural brain connectivity patterns previously believed to be associated with ASD also overlap with developmental coordination disorder (DCD).
Researchers have identified 134 genes associated with autism and a range of genetic alterations associated with ASD. Notably, the study identified changes in copy number variations with likely associations with ASD, including autism-associated variants in 14% of people on the autism spectrum.
Brain changes associated with ASD encompass more areas than previously believed, a new study reports. Researchers identified brain-wide changes in all 11 cortical regions analyzed. The greatest gene drop-offs were found in the visual cortex and the parietal cortex, a brain area associated with processing touch, pain, and temperature information. The findings shed light on sensory hypersensitivity associated with ASD. Additionally, researchers say the RNA alterations associated with ASD are more likely a cause than a result of autism.