Navigation Links
GW researcher receives grant to answer the how and why of autism during development
Date:7/25/2014

WASHINGTON (July 24, 2014)The link between autism and disrupted brain development is an essential part of the puzzle of the disease, and is largely unknown. However, thanks to funding from the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative (SFARI), George Washington University (GW) researcher Anthony-Samuel LaMantia, Ph.D. may be able to offer truly integrative and in-depth answers to these key questions in the field of autism research.

LaMantia, professor of pharmacology and physiology at the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS), was awarded $739K from SFARI for his promising research on a key class of nerve cells found in the cerebral cortex, which is the part of the brain that performs many key functions disrupted in autism, particularly social interaction, communication, and cognition.

SFARI is a leading funder of autism research in the U.S. The prestigious SFARI research grants support cutting edge research at several research institutions. The SFARI research grant received by LaMantia and colleagues is the first such award at GW.

LaMantia and his research team, which includes interdisciplinary collaborators from GW and the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, will first look at how these nerve cells are generated from cortical stem cells during prenatal development. They will then look at connections made between these nerve cells in one cortical area with nerve cells in other cortical areas. The connections between these nerve cells have been suggested to be either diminished or increased based on imaging studies in patients with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). There is no clear indication, however, what cortical neurons make the abnormal connections, and whether under- or over-connectivity is related to autism pathology.

"Everybody agrees that sometime during development, the way the cerebral cortex is wired gets disrupted in autistic patients and that this is a key reason for the difficulties in behavioral regulation that these patients encounter," said LaMantia. "But no one really knows how that happens and what the end point is. We have the capacity to actually work out a key part of that question in a valid animal model."

The research team has found a valid animal model with a genetic mutation highly associated with autism. Over the next three years, they will use a combination of genetic techniques that allow the developmental history of neurons in the cortex to be traced, anatomical techniques that allow the number of connections made by these neurons to be defined, and electrophysiological techniques that assess the capacity of these neurons to receive, process, and relay information. Critically, LaMantia and colleagues will also be able to evaluate behaviors related to autism in the same animals, giving insight into the relationship between development, connectivity, and behavioral pathology in ASD.

"This funding gives GW real credibility as an institution that is doing serious autism research," said LaMantia. "We have a truly integrative group that can look at the developmental, cellular, biological, behavioral, and physiological issues of the question of under versus over connectivity which remains a central issue in clinical ASD research and how it arises during development. We are pleased to have the opportunity to answer these questions."


'/>"/>

Contact: Lisa Anderson
lisama2@gwu.edu
202-270-4841
George Washington University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. University of Houston researcher publishes textbook on tissue engineering
2. Whitehead Institute researchers create naïve pluripotent human embryonic stem cells
3. UNC researchers find unsuspected characteristics of new CF drugs, offering potential paths to more effective therapies
4. York University researchers use bird backpacks to put wood thrushes migration on the map
5. Intestinal parasites are old friends, researchers argue
6. UNH NHAES researchers work to save endangered New England cottontail
7. Researchers create vaccine for dust-mite allergies
8. Cleveland Clinic researchers discover neuroprotective role of immune cell
9. Researchers provide guide to household water conservation
10. UCI researchers find epigenetic tie to neuropsychiatric disorders
11. International Space Station researcher guides aim to maximize science
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/26/2017)... DENVER , Jan. 26, 2017  Acuity ... Trends for Biometrics and Digital Identity".  Acuity characterizes ... digital identity when increased adoption reflects a new ... "Biometrics and digital identity are ... says Maxine Most , Principal of Acuity ...
(Date:1/24/2017)... , Jan. 24, 2017  It sounds ... baby,s sock that monitors vital signs and alerts ... an infant,s oxygen saturation level drops. But pediatric ... alarm to parents, with no evidence of medical ... devices are marketed aggressively to parents of healthy ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... PUNE, India , January 19, 2017 ... Sensor Market, Opportunities and Forecast, 2014 - 2022," the global biometric sensor ... of 9.6% from 2016 to 2022. In 2015, Asia-Pacific ... for both public and private sectors. Continue Reading ... ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/24/2017)... Provectus Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. (OTCQB: PVCT, ... oncology and dermatology biopharmaceutical company, today is providing ... its previously announced rights offering of up to ... stock and Series C Convertible Preferred Stock to ... As previously announced, the rights offering ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... N.J. , Feb. 24, 2017  Driven ... and biotechnology are now the fastest growing categories, ... Specialty Actives in Personal Care: Multi-regional Market ... research and management consulting firm Kline. ... bioprocesses that make them more effective for skin ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... Inc. (NASDAQ: CBPO) ("China Biologic" or the "Company"), a leading ... financial results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year of ... Total sales in the fourth quarter of ... 13.6% in USD terms to $77.6 million from $68.3 million ... profit increased by 13.3% to $46.8 million from $41.3 million ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... NEW YORK , Feb. 23, 2017 ... a leading digital health company, and Digital ... telemedicine and remote patient monitoring, announce they are ... DN Telehealth maximizes collaboration compatibility ... extending consultations beyond a physical clinical setting to ...
Breaking Biology Technology: