Navigation Links
Autism Speaks collaborates on grant with the Allen Institute for Brain Science and autism expert
Date:4/2/2008

NEW YORK, NY (April 2, 2008) Autism Speaks, the nations largest autism advocacy organization along with the Allen Institute for Brain Science and one of the countrys leading autism researchers will join forces on a new research grant that will examine the architecture of the autistic brain. Led by Eric Courchesne, Ph.D., Professor of Neurosciences at the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine and Director of UC San Diegos Autism Center of Excellence, the grant will allow scientists to examine molecular markers of genetic activity in the brain of patients with autism, providing insight into the biological causes that underlie the disorder.

This unique study analyzing frontal cortex microstructure is aimed at identifying the underlying cellular and molecular defects in the autistic brain. An extensive study of this type has never been attempted in autism, explained Dr. Sophia Colamarino, Vice President of Research for Autism Speaks. This could give us the very first window into brain development in autism, something about which we know virtually nothing.

The collaborative effort builds on the discovery by Dr. Courchesne and others that autism involves sudden, excessive brain growth during the first two years of life. The abnormal overgrowth is especially pronounced in brain regions, such as the frontal cortex, that regulate social, emotional and language communication.

"Such abnormal early brain overgrowth very likely triggers autistic behavior in infants and toddlers, and so the next major step is to discover the reason for this brain overgrowth," said Courchesne. "Once we pinpoint the specific brain cells and genes involved in the abnormal growth, it will be possible to see more clearly what is causing autism, which will more rapidly lead to novel biomedical interventions to improve the outcome for each child."

To discover the specific brain cells and genes that disrupt the growth and formation of these critical early circuits, the team will use advanced technology developed at the Allen Institute that maps in exquisite detail the precise locations in the frontal cortex where specific genes are most active inside cells. Analyses will be done at both the Allen Institute and the UCSD Autism Center for Excellence. The data from the project will ultimately be made publicly available on the Web to help accelerate progress in autism research by scientists worldwide.

The resources of the Allen Institute for Brain Science will allow us to better understand how specific genes that regulate brain development contribute to autism, said Autism Speaks Chief Science Officer, Geri Dawson, Ph.D. We hope that these discoveries will provide clues that will lead to new approaches to diagnosis and treatment of autism.

As a childs brain develops, newly formed brain cells migrate systematically to the appropriate locations in the frontal cortex of the brain, and disruptions in this process can result in subsequent brain dysfunction. Knowing if particular brain cells go to the right place requires a clear way to identify them, like a molecular fingerprint. The Allen Institute has characterized an extensive library of gene markers for specific populations of cells in the cortex. The researchers will study these markers to determine if different cell populations are present in the correct proportions and in the right locations within the cortex.

This collaboration represents the first time the Allen Institute will apply its high-throughput methodology and extensive cortical marker panels derived from the Allen Brain AtlasMouse Brain project to characterize human tissue from any disorder. Project leader for the Allen Institute will be Ed Lein, Ph.D., Director of Neuroscience .

The Allen Institutes goal is to fuel discovery and promote innovation for researchers worldwide, and were pleased to be collaborating with Autism Speaks and Dr. Courchesne to advance scientific knowledge of the causes of autism, said Elaine Jones, Chief Operating Officer at the Allen Institute for Brain Science.

The team hopes to discover whether there is an excess number of any particular type of brain cell, or whether some specific cell types are missing or abnormally located. This research will use tissue from autistic and control groups provided by the NICHD Brain and Tissue Bank for Developmental Disorders in Maryland as well as Autism Speaks Autism Tissue Program. Dr. Colamarino concluded, We have a unique opportunity to look at the autistic brain with finer resolution than has previously been possible. This has the potential to be a very powerful technique for understanding how brains differ in individuals with autism.


'/>"/>

Contact: Lori Ferme
lferme@rubenstein.com
212-843-8291
Autism Speaks
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Children with autism dont adapt as readily to unfamiliar faces
2. Rutgers Genetics receives $7.8 million for autism research
3. Simons Foundation awards Emory scientists $3M for autism gene research
4. Largest study to investigate risk factors of autism to begin enrolling families
5. New studies on schizophrenia, depression, trauma and autism highlight annual meeting
6. Study finds first-ever genetic animal model of autism
7. New studies suggest brain overgrowth in 1-year-olds linked to development of autism
8. Recurrent genetic deletion linked to autism
9. Researchers move 2 steps closer to understanding genetic underpinnings of autism
10. Raydiance collaborates with Rutgers, MTF to develop innovative tissue processing approaches
11. UCs NIH grant brings technology from outer space to playgrounds
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/14/2016)... MELBOURNE, Florida , March 14, 2016 ... on the growing mobile commerce market, announces the airing of ... York channels starting the week of March 21 st . ... and CNBC, including its popular Squawk on the Street show. ... company focused on the growing mobile commerce market, announces the ...
(Date:3/11/2016)... 11, 2016 http://www.apimages.com ) - --> ... is available at AP Images ( http://www.apimages.com ) - ... used to produce the new refugee identity cards. DERMALOG will be ... CeBIT in Hanover next week.   --> ... be used to produce the new refugee identity cards. DERMALOG will ...
(Date:3/10/2016)... --> --> ... and Access Management Market by Component (Provisioning, Directory Services, ... Organization Size, by Deployment, by Vertical, and by Region ... market is estimated to grow from USD 7.20 Billion ... a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 12.2% during ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/4/2016)...  Bayer today announced that a Phase III ... (regorafenib) tablets for the treatment of patients with ... endpoint of a statistically significant improvement in overall ... and safety of regorafenib in patients with HCC ... The safety and tolerability were generally consistent with ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... ... 04, 2016 , ... Nutrafol®, a first-to-market smart-supplement for healthy ... stress related hair loss. With patent-pending formulas for both female hair loss and ... the medical and salon channels nationwide. , Dermatologists, Plastic Surgeons and hair ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... Massachusetts (PRWEB) , ... May 03, 2016 , ... ... will gather at Boston CEO 2016 on May 31st and June 1st at ... networking forum for leading executives in the life sciences, offering exclusive access to ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... LONDON , May 3, 2016 ... Report Assessing Developers and Producers of Those Competitor Biologics  ... Guide to Companies, Activities and Prospects ,  ... drug companies? And what are their sales potentials? ... There you see results, trends, opportunities and revenue forecasting. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: