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:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... According to an article ... American Dental Association meeting in Washington D.C. revolved around the fact that proper dental ... health. The talk stressed the link between periodontal disease (more commonly referred to as ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... ... According to an article published November 15th by ABC News, while ... light of the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, other cities are taking extra precautions ... reaching U.S. soil. Especially around special events that may be high-profile in nature, the ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... ... A team of Swiss doctors has released a report on mesothelioma relapse ... the findings on the website. Click here to read the details now. ... who were treated with chemotherapy followed by EPP surgery. Among the 106 patients who ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... "When ... said an inventor from Hillside, N.J. "Many people catch diseases simply from sitting ... individuals will always be protected from germs." , He developed the patent-pending QUDRATECS ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 27, 2015 , ... ... the November 27th edition of USA Today in Atlanta, Dallas, New York, Minneapolis, ... of 750,000. The digital component is distributed nationally, through a vast social media ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... 26, 2015 ... "2016 Future Horizons and Growth Strategies ... Market: Supplier Shares, Country Segment Forecasts, Competitive ... offering. --> ) has ... Future Horizons and Growth Strategies in the ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... 26, 2015 ... of the  "2016 Future Horizons and ... Drug Monitoring (TDM) Market: Supplier Shares, ... Opportunities"  report to their offering.  ... the addition of the  "2016 Future ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... 2015 Research and Markets ( ... "2016 Future Horizons and Growth Strategies in the ... Country Segment Forecasts, Competitive Intelligence, Emerging Opportunities" ... --> --> This new 247-page ... therapeutic drug monitoring market, including emerging tests, technologies, ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: