Navigation Links
Misconnections in Developing Brain May Cause Autism
Date:1/11/2010

Mounting evidence opens possibility of future drug treatment, researchers say

MONDAY, Jan. 11 (HealthDay News) -- A new study adds to growing evidence that autism is caused by a miswiring of connections in a child's developing brain, resulting in impaired information flow.

According to researchers at Children's Hospital Boston, it may be possible to one day treat the problem with drugs that target the molecular pathways that cause the miswiring.

The study authors looked at a rare disorder called tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC), which causes benign tumors throughout the body, including the brain. Many people with TSC have epilepsy and intellectual disabilities, and about 25 percent to 50 percent of TSC patients have autism spectrum disorders.

In this study, the researchers found that mutations in one of TSC's causative genes (TSC2) prevent growing nerve fibers (axons) from locating their proper targets in the developing brain.

The team focused on a nerve fiber (axon) route between the eye's retina and the visual processing area of the brain in mice. When neurons were deficient in TSC2, their axons failed to end up in the correct locations. That's because the axons' tips, called growth cones, didn't respond to navigation cues from molecules called ephrins.

"Normally, ephrins cause growth cones to collapse in neurons, but in tuberous sclerosis the axons don't heed these repulsive cues, so keep growing," senior investigator Dr. Mustafa Sahin, of the hospital's neurology department, said in a news release.

This loss of axon responsiveness to ephrin signals is caused by activation of a molecular pathway called mTOR. The activity of this pathway increases when neurons are deficient in TSC2, the researchers noted.

This study examined retinal connections to the brain, but Sahin and colleagues said their findings may help improve general understanding of the organization of the developing brain. In autism, it's believed that abnormal wiring may occur in areas of the brain involved in social cognition.

"People have started to look at autism as a developmental disconnection syndrome -- there are either too many connections or too few connections between different parts of the brain," Sahin said in the hospital news release. "In the mouse models, we're seeing an exuberance of connections, consistent with the idea that autism may involve a sensory overload, and/or a lack of filtering of information."

The study was published online Jan. 10 in the journal Nature Neuroscience.

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke has more about autism.



-- Robert Preidt



SOURCE: Children's Hospital Boston, news release, Jan. 10, 2010


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. NeoThrive(R) Enteral Feeding System Addresses the Serious Risk of Tubing Misconnections in NICU Facilities
2. AASM encourages those student-athletes at risk for developing osa to visit a sleep clinic
3. Pregnancy may increase the risk of developing binge eating disorder
4. Researcher developing new method for hearing loss assessment
5. Breastfeeding does not protect children against developing asthma or allergies
6. CEO Addresses Tennessee Business Leaders About Developing Pandemic and Business Continuity Plans
7. amfARs MSM Initiative Seeks Proposals From Front-Line Groups Working on HIV in Developing Countries
8. Developing a modular, nanoparticle drug delivery system
9. Jefferson scientists find protein may be key in developing deadly form of pancreatic cancer
10. AAAAI: Early Day Care Attendance May Protect Infants From Later Developing Asthma, From the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
11. IAEA and NFCR join forces to fight cancer in developing world
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/13/2017)... Little Rock, AR (PRWEB) , ... October 13, ... ... owned firm with locations throughout Arkansas that offers insurance and financial preparation services, ... to benefit the Rock City Rescue organization. , Rock City Rescue is a ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... PurhealthRX , a leading Health ... technology. Applying the Purzorb™process to full spectrum CBD oil will revolutionize the rapidly growing ... form that can be easily incorporated into liquid products, while reducing costs to end ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... The Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) of Somerset Hills ... specialty vendors and unique items from across the nation, this holiday-themed event will raise ... offered by the VNA. The boutique will be open Saturday, November 4 (10:00 ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... , ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... and Agile Software Development, has been awarded a contract by the Center for ... Agreement (BPA) aims to accelerate the enterprise use of Agile methodologies in a ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... Planet Fitness, one of the largest and fastest ... to open a flagship location in Covington, LA at 401 N. U.S. Highway 190, ... next to Office Depot in the Holiday Square shopping center. Its location allows it ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2017)... West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc. (NYSE: ... drug administration, today announced that it will release third-quarter ... October 26, 2017, and will follow with a conference ... 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time. To participate on the call, ... ID is 94093362. ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... , Oct. 10, 2017  NDS received FDA 510(k) clearance ... a medical-grade battery-powered display stand specifically designed for endoscopy environments. An ... technology into a clinical solution to support the improvement of patient ... Innovative Design ... Wireless Solution ...
(Date:10/4/2017)... , Oct. 4, 2017  According to the Centers for Disease Control ... of October . PhysicianOne Urgent Care is helping communities across ... NY , by offering no-cost* flu shots through the end of ... by certain health insurance regulations. ... best time to get a flu shot is by the end of ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: