AUTISM

AUTISM

July 11, 2012

Charting Autism's Neural Circuitry

Deleting a single gene in the cerebellum of mice can cause key autistic-like symptoms, researchers have found. They also discovered that rapamycin, a commonly used immunosuppressant drug, prevented these symptoms. 

The deleted gene is associated with Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC), a rare genetic condition. Since nearly 50 percent of all people with TSC develop autism, the researchers believe their findings will help us better understand the condition's development. 

"We are trying to find out if there are specific circuits in the brain that lead to autism-spectrum disorders in people with TSC," said Mustafa Sahin, Harvard Medical School associate professor of neurology at Boston Children's Hospital and senior author on the paper. "And knowing that deleting the genes associated with TSC in the cerebellum leads to autistic symptoms is a vital step in figuring out... READ MORE >>

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