Children with autism have abnormally low levels of the CNTNAP2 protein. The protein, which can be detected in cerebrospinal fluid samples, may serve as a new biomarker for autism and could potentially become a target to treat epilepsy that is commonly associated with ASD.
A new study sheds light on why some children with ASD also have epilepsy. Researchers report the catnap2 mutation, associated with autism, does not allow inhibitory neurons to correctly form and this can lead to an increased risk of seizures.
Reducing the excitation-inhibition ratio by diminishing excitability of pyramidal neurons or increasing excitability of PV neurons led mice to spend more time engaged in social encounters. Researchers believe the excitation-inhibition balance may play a key role in autism and normal social behavior.
A new study reports a genetic predisposition in combination with early life stress appear to be more detrimental to males over females and may produce the social avoidance often associated with autism spectrum disorders.
A new study reports the hormone estrogen alleviates sleep disruptions experienced by zebrafish with genes linked to autism.