Neurexin regulates the survival of cerebellar granule cells independently of synapses. The findings shed new light on the mechanisms behind neurodevelopmental disorders like schizophrenia and ASD.
When it comes to mental processing, researchers say there are fundamental similarities between autistic and people not on the autism spectrum.
Overgrowth of the amygdala at 6 - 12 months is an early indicator of autism diagnosis later in childhood and could be used as an early diagnostic for ASD in children.
Sensory patterns of children on the autism spectrum, and those who had ASD traits but were not diagnosed, grew stronger over time.
Exposing mice with the autism-associated SHANK3 genetic mutation to new environments can trigger autism-like behaviors, including repetitive movements and problems with social engagement. However, adding familiar objects to the novel environment during the first exposure can reduce the behavioral and brain signaling deficits.
Blocking an overactive signaling pathway in the brains of mice within the first five weeks of their lives prevents autism symptoms from developing, researchers report.
In children with autism, girls had different patterns of connectivity than boys in brain areas associated with motor, language, and visuospatial attention. Generally, girls display fewer repetitive behaviors than boys, which may contribute to delays in ASD diagnosis for females.