Navigation Links
Researchers Reverse Mental Retardation Symptoms in Mice

Researchers have successfully reversed the symptoms of mental retardation and autism in mice for the first time.

The study was conducted by a team of researchers including Mansuo L. Hayashi and Susumu Tonegawa at the Picower Institute for Learning and Memory at MIT.

As part of the study, researchers genetically manipulated mice to model Fragile X Syndrome (FXS), the leading inherited cause of mental retardation and the most common genetic cause of autism.

The condition, tied to a mutated X chromosome gene called fragile X mental retardation 1 (FMR1) gene, causes mild learning disabilities to severe autism.

Researchers identified a key enzyme, a chemical reaction-inducing protein as a possible target for an FXS drug. The enzyme, called p21-activated kinase, or PAK, affects the number, size and shape of connections between neurons in the brain.

Researchers found that halting PAK's enzymatic activity reversed the structural abnormality of neuronal connections found in the FXS mice.

In the brain, small protrusions called dendritic spines on the branch-like dendrites of one neuron receive chemical signals from other neurons and communicate them to the main cell body. The numbers and shapes of dendritic spines are key to normal brain function.

FXS patients have higher numbers of dendritic spines in their brains, but each spine is longer and thinner, and transmits weaker electric signals, than those in non-affected individuals.

When the enzymatic activity of PAK was inhibited in the FXS mice, abnormalities in their spine number and structure-as well as the weaker electrical communication between their neurons-were reversed.

The FXS mice exhibited symptoms similar to those in FXS patients. These included hyperactivity; purposeless, repetitive movements reminiscent of autistic people; attention deficits and difficulty with learning and memory tasks.

"These behavioural abnormalities are ameliorated, partially or fully, by inhibiting the enzymatic activity of PAK, Tonegawa said.

"Strikingly, PAK inhibition also restored electrical communication between neurons in the brains of the FXS mice, correcting their behavioural abnormalities in the process," he added.

"Our study suggests that inhibiting a certain enzyme in the brain could be an effective therapy for countering the debilitating symptoms of FXS in children, and possibly in autistic kids as well," Hayashi said.

The findings of the study will be published in the online early edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences


Related medicine news :

1. Researchers urge caution in using ear tube surgery
2. Researchers Scale to assess the Severity of Epilepsy in Kids
3. Researchers trick Alzheimers Enzyme
4. Researchers find new HIV hiding place
5. New Hair in 15 Days Could Now Be A Possibility Say Researchers
6. Researchers developed world’s smallest toothbrus
7. Researchers discover receptor cells that can cause epilepsy
8. 15 Anti-SARS Drugs Identified By China-Europe Team of Researchers
9. Researchers reversed the process of memory loss
10. Researchers Identify Key Gene That May Help Brain Treatment
11. Researchers Discover Protein That Causes Malaria
Post Your Comments:

(Date:10/13/2017)... ... , ... Lori R. Somekh, founder of the Law Office of Somekh ... law and special needs planning attorneys. “Membership in ElderCounsel helps our office remain up ... network with elder law attorneys nationwide,” said Somekh. , ElderCounsel was ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Many families have long-term ... long-term care insurance companies have a waiver for care if the client has a ... when the family pays for care, is often waived, so the benefits from their ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... , ... October 13, 2017 , ... Ellevate Network, the ... business to advocate for action towards gender equality at their inaugural Summit in New ... the globe, and reached a social audience of over 3 million. To watch the ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Yisrayl Hawkins, Pastor and Overseer at ... of the most popular and least understood books in the Holy Scriptures, Revelation. The ... that have baffled scholars for centuries. Many have tossed it off as mere rubbish, ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... VA (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... of DevOps and Agile Software Development, has been awarded a contract by the ... Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA) aims to accelerate the enterprise use of Agile methodologies ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/4/2017)... 4, 2017 OBP Medical , ... medical devices, today announced regulatory approval from ... (or Agência Nacional de Vigilância Sanitária (ANVISA)) to ... surgical retractor with integrated LED light source and ... and exposure of a tissue pocket or cavity ...
(Date:10/2/2017)...  Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY ... quarter of 2017 on Tuesday, October 24, 2017. Lilly ... with the investment community and media to further detail ... will begin at 9 a.m. Eastern time. Investors, media ... of the conference call through a link that will ...
(Date:10/2/2017)... , Oct. 2, 2017 Halo Labs announces the ... analysis system called the HORIZON at MIBio 2017 in ... subvisible and visible particulate matter in biopharmaceutical samples with unprecedented speed ... of the novel technique Backgrounded Membrane Imaging. ... The HORIZON subvisible particle analysis system ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: