Thursday, June 22, 2017

Autism May Begin Early in Brain Development - NEUROSCIENCE

Autism is not a single condition, but a spectrum of disorders that affect the brain’s ability to perceive and process information. Recent research suggests that too many connections in the brain could be at least partially responsible for the symptoms of autism, from communication deficits to unusual talents.

New research from the University of Maryland suggests that this overload of connections begins early in mammalian development, when key neurons in a region of the brain known as the cerebral cortex begin to form their first circuits.

By pinpointing where and when autism-related neural defects first emerge in mice, the study results could lead to a stronger understanding of autism in humans—including possible early intervention strategies. The researchers outline their findings in a research paper published January 31, 2017 in the journal Cell Reports.

“Our work suggests that the neural pathology of autism manifests in the earliest cortical circuits, formed by a cell type called subplate neurons,” said UMD Biology Professor and senior study author Patrick Kanold. “Nobody has looked at developing circuits this early, in this level of detail, in the context of autism before. This is truly a new discovery and potentially represents a new paradigm for autism research.”

Source & further reading:

Journal article:

Image:  brains of children with autism are hyperconnected in ways that relate to symptom severity.
Credit: Cell Reports, Keown et al

Corina Marinescu

No comments:

Post a Comment