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:12/7/2016)... , ... December 07, 2016 , ... Levels of a ... damage, according to a study appearing online in the journal Radiology. , Heart disease ... to increase significantly due to the rapidly aging population. Damage to both organs often ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... ... , ... They are musicians and librarians, fashion designers and fitness instructors, actors, ... England and around the nation. What do they have in common? All have been ... and compelling new photographic exhibit debuting Friday, December 9 at Logan International Airport in ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... Hollywood, Fl (PRWEB) , ... December 07, 2016 , ... When it came time to ... new heart. Just 40 minutes later, the Pediatric Heart Transplant team at Joe ... true making the Weston teen the hospital’s 30th heart transplant recipient. , “He was ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... ... December 07, 2016 , ... ODU, ... to the US market its advanced highly customizable contact technology solutions. , ODU ... These advanced technologies are ideal for a wide range of applications that require ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... Arbor, MI (PRWEB) , ... December 07, 2016 ... ... insurance and financial consultation services from offices located in South Lyon, Dewitt, Williamston, ... to benefit a basketball coach who needs treatment for a brain tumor. , ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/6/2016)... Dec. 6, 2016 A new study released ... (AIR 340B) projects the 340B Drug Pricing Program will continue ... time it is expected to exceed $23 billion in total ... 340B purchases surpass current Medicare Part B drug reimbursement purchases ... study – based on analysis of data on total drug ...
(Date:12/6/2016)... , Dec. 6, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - InMed ... progress today on its R&D program in the ... obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). In June, 2015 InMed ... tool to identify the targets and potential active ... of COPD. Subsequently, with in vitro assays using ...
(Date:12/6/2016)... Tenn , Dec. 6, 2016  In response ... dependent on opioids every 25 minutes, a respected group ... company that will provide a holistic suite of services ... Based on his own experience trying to ... social entrepreneur Justin Lanning launched 180 ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: