Science Current Events | Science News | Brightsurf.com
 

Research shows gene defect's role in autism-like behavior

August 13, 2012
Scientists affiliated with the UC Davis MIND Institute have discovered how a defective gene causes brain changes that lead to the atypical social behavior characteristic of autism. The research offers a potential target for drugs to treat the condition.

Earlier research already has shown that the gene is defective in children with autism, but its effect on neurons in the brain was not known. The new studies in mice show that abnormal action of just this one gene disrupted energy use in neurons. The harmful changes were coupled with antisocial and prolonged repetitive behavior -- traits found in autism.

The research is published online today in the scientific journal PLoS ONE.

"A number of genes and environmental factors have been shown to be involved in autism, but this study points to a mechanism -- how one gene defect may trigger this type of neurological behavior," said study senior author Cecilia Giulivi, professor of molecular biosciences in the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine and a researcher affiliated with the UC Davis MIND Institute.

"Once you understand the mechanism, that opens the way for developing drugs to treat the condition," she said.

The defective gene appears to disrupt neurons' use of energy, Giulivi said, the critical process that relies on the cell's molecular energy factories called mitochondria.

In the research, a gene called pten was tweaked in the mice so that neurons lacked the normal amount of pten's protein. The scientists detected malfunctioning mitochondria in the mice as early as 4 to 6 weeks after birth.

By 20 to 29 weeks, DNA damage in the mitochondria and disruption of their function had increased dramatically. At this time the mice began to avoid contact with their litter mates and engage in repetitive grooming behavior. Mice without the single gene change exhibited neither the mitochondria malfunctions nor the behavioral problems.

The antisocial behavior was most pronounced in the mice at an age comparable in humans to the early teenage years, when schizophrenia and other behavioral disorders become most apparent, Giulivi said.

The research showed that, when defective, pten's protein interacts with the protein of a second gene known as p53 to dampen energy production in neurons. This severe stress leads to a spike in harmful mitochondrial DNA changes and abnormal levels of energy production in the cerebellum and hippocampus -- brain regions critical for social behavior and cognition.

Pten mutations previously have been linked to Alzheimer's disease as well as a spectrum of autism disorders. The new research shows that when pten protein was insufficient, its interaction with p53 triggered deficiencies and defects in other proteins that also have been found in patients with learning disabilities including autism.

University of California - Davis Health System


Related Autism Current Events and Autism News Articles


Study details use of antipsychotic medication in young people
The use of antipsychotic medication increased among adolescents and young adults from 2006 to 2010 but not among children 12 years or younger, according to an article published online by JAMA Psychiatry.

Preemies at high risk of autism don't show typical signs of disorder in early infancy
Premature babies are at an increased risk for developing autism spectrum disorder.

Small RNAs found to play important roles in memory formation
Scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have found that a type of genetic material called "microRNA" plays surprisingly different roles in the formation of memory in animal models. In some cases, these RNAs increase memory, while others decrease it.

Study examines cesarean section delivery and autism spectrum disorder
The initial results of a study suggested that children born by cesarean section were 21 percent more likely to be diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder but that association did not hold up in further analysis of sibling pairs, implying the initial association was not causal and was more likely due to unknown genetic or environmental factors, according to an article published online by JAMA Psychiatry.

Norepinephrine aids brain in sorting complex auditory signals
For neuroscientists studying the intricate mechanisms of hearing in the brain's auditory cortex, a major question has been how a listener can focus in a noisy environment, and how neurochemicals help neurons convey as much embedded information as possible for the rest of the brain to act on.

Penn: Mom's stress alters babies' gut and brain through vaginal microbiome
Stress during the first trimester of pregnancy alters the population of microbes living in a mother's vagina. Those changes are passed on to newborns during birth and are associated with differences in their gut microbiome as well as their brain development, according to a new study by University of Pennsylvania researchers.

Autism: The value of an integrated approach to diagnosis
Researchers at Inserm (Inserm Unit 930 "Imaging and Brain") attached to François-Rabelais University and Tours Regional University Hospital have combined three clinical, neurophysiological and genetic approaches in order to better understand the brain mechanisms that cause autism.

Longitudinal brain changes during transition from adolescence to adulthood found in ASD
A study published in the June 2015 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry demonstrates that the atypical trajectory of cortical/brain development in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) extends well beyond young childhood and into late adolescence and young adulthood.

Interactions between cortical and subcortical regions important in hypersensitivity in ASD
The increased interaction between cortical and subcortical brain regions highlights the central role of hypersensitivity and other sensory symptoms in defining Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Early intensive intervention improves outcomes for children with autism spectrum disorder
A recent study published in the July 2015 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry demonstrates that early intervention, beginning between 18 and 30 months of age improves outcomes for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) at age 6.
More Autism Current Events and Autism News Articles

Autism Breakthrough: The Groundbreaking Method That Has Helped Families All Over the World

Autism Breakthrough: The Groundbreaking Method That Has Helped Families All Over the World
by Raun K. Kaufman (Author)


As a boy, Raun Kaufman was diagnosed by multiple experts as severely autistic, with an IQ below 30, and destined to spend his life in an institution. Years later, Raun graduated with a degree in Biomedical Ethics from Brown University and has become a passionate and articulate autism expert and educator with no trace of his former condition.
So what happened?Thanks to The Son-Rise Program, a revolutionary method created by his parents, Raun experienced a full recovery from autism. (His story was recounted in the best-selling book Son-Rise: The Miracle Continues and in the award-winning NBC television movie Son-Rise: A Miracle of Love.) In Autism Breakthrough, Raun presents the ground-breaking principles behind the program that helped him and thousands of other families with special...

Autism: 27 Ways to Understanding- Aspergers Syndrome, ADHD, ADD, and  Special Needs (Autism, Aspergers Syndrome, ADHD, ADD, Special Needs, Communication, Relationships)

Autism: 27 Ways to Understanding- Aspergers Syndrome, ADHD, ADD, and Special Needs (Autism, Aspergers Syndrome, ADHD, ADD, Special Needs, Communication, Relationships)


Do you have a loved one that you want to Understand Better?
☆★☆ Read this book for FREE on Kindle Unlimited ~ Bonus Right After The Conclusion For a Limited Time! ☆★☆
Do you want to better understand the ways to care for, educate, and support someone with unique learning abilities?
When you download Autism: 27 Ways to Understanding- Aspergers Syndrome, ADHD, ADD, and Special Needs, your will see a difference in your interactions each day! You will discover some of the most important aspects of AS, ADHD, ADD, and other special needs of both children and adults.

This must read manual will transform your mind and lead you to better interactions. You'll finish this book knowing the most important tips of how to communicate and understand...

Ten Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew: Updated and Expanded Edition

Ten Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew: Updated and Expanded Edition
by Ellen Notbohm (Author), Veronica Zysk (Editor)


A bestseller gets even better!  Every parent, teacher, social worker, therapist, and physician should have this succinct and informative book in their back pocket. Framed with both humor and compassion, the book describes ten characteristics that help illuminate—not define—children with autism.
Ellen’s personal experiences as a parent of children with autism and ADHD, a celebrated autism author, and a contributor to numerous publications, classrooms, conferences, and websites around the world coalesce to create a guide for all who come in contact with a child on the autism spectrum. This updated edition delves into expanded thought and deeper discussion of communication issues, social processing skills, and the critical roles adult perspectives play in guiding the child with...

Autism Spectrum Disorder (revised): The Complete Guide to Understanding Autism

Autism Spectrum Disorder (revised): The Complete Guide to Understanding Autism
by Chantal Sicile-Kira (Author)


Newly revised and updated, this award-winning guide covers every aspect of understanding and living with autism today

Comprehensive and authoritative, Autism Spectrum Disorders explains all aspects of the condition, and is written for parents, educators, caregivers, and others looking for accurate information and expert insight. Newly updated to reflect the latest research, treatment methods, and DSM-V criteria, this invaluable book covers:

• The causes of autism spectrum disorders
• Getting an accurate diagnosis
• Treatments based on behavioral, psychological, and biomedical interventions
• Coping strategies for families and education needs and programs
• Living and working conditions for adults with ASD
• Community interaction and teaching...

The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a Thirteen-Year-Old Boy with Autism

The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a Thirteen-Year-Old Boy with Autism
by Naoki Higashida (Author), KA Yoshida (Translator), David Mitchell (Translator)


“One of the most remarkable books I’ve ever read. It’s truly moving, eye-opening, incredibly vivid.”—Jon Stewart, The Daily Show

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY
NPR • The Wall Street Journal • Bloomberg Businessweek • Bookish

FINALIST FOR THE BOOKS FOR A BETTER LIFE FIRST BOOK AWARD • NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

You’ve never read a book like The Reason I Jump. Written by Naoki Higashida, a very smart, very self-aware, and very charming thirteen-year-old boy with autism, it is a one-of-a-kind memoir that demonstrates how an autistic mind thinks, feels, perceives, and responds in ways few of us can imagine. Parents and family members who never thought they could get inside the head of their autistic loved one at last have a way to break...

101 Games and Activities for Children With Autism, Asperger's and Sensory Processing Disorders

101 Games and Activities for Children With Autism, Asperger's and Sensory Processing Disorders
by Tara Delaney (Author)


LEARNING THROUGH PLAY One of the best ways for children with autism, Asperger's, and sensory processing disorders to learn is through play. Children improve their motor skills, language skills, and social skills by moving their bodies and interacting with their environment. Yet the biggest challenges parents, teachers, and loved ones face with children on the autism spectrum or with sensory processing disorders is how to successfully engage them in play. Pediatric occupational therapist Tara Delaney provides the answer. In 101 Games and Activities for Children with Autism, Asperger's, and Sensory Processing Disorders, she shows you how to teach your children by moving their bodies through play. These interactive games are quick to learn but will provide hours of fun and learning for...

The Autistic Brain: Helping Different Kinds of Minds Succeed

The Autistic Brain: Helping Different Kinds of Minds Succeed
by Temple Grandin (Author), Richard Panek (Author)


“The right brain has created the right book for right now.”—Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Temple Grandin may be the most famous person with autism, a condition that affects 1 in 88 children. Since her birth in 1947, our understanding of it has undergone a great transformation, leading to more hope than ever before that we may finally learn the causes of and treatments for autism.

Weaving her own experience with remarkable new discoveries, Grandin introduces the advances in neuroimaging and genetic research that link brain science to behavior, even sharing her own brain scan to show which anomalies might explain common symptoms. Most excitingly, she argues that raising and educating kids on the autism spectrum must focus on their long-overlooked strengths to...

Life Through His Eyes

Life Through His Eyes
by Virginia R. Victorio


Life is not always what we want it to be. Mauricio is struggling with a life he didn't choose for himself and is about to learn an amazing lesson from the person he loves the most - Short Story

Autism: The Ultimate Parenting Handbook For Teaching An Autistic Child That Will Improve Their Life Forever (Special Needs, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Aspergrs, ... Breakthrough, Autism Books, ADHD, Children)

Autism: The Ultimate Parenting Handbook For Teaching An Autistic Child That Will Improve Their Life Forever (Special Needs, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Aspergrs, ... Breakthrough, Autism Books, ADHD, Children)


Do you want to know how to make life easier, simpler, and better for children affected with Autism Spectrum Disease using solid strategies and useful information?
If your children or someone you know is affected with Autism Spectrum Disease (ASD) you probably know that learning and development is a very big challenge. Also you may know that children diagnosed with ASD face difficulties in areas like communication, language, repetitive behavior, socialization, and restricted interests. For this reason it is extremely important that the family and caregivers (at home and school) have the appropriate education and knowledge to make life easier, simpler and better for these beloved children.

This guide contains the most important information you must know about ASD and...

Autism Every Day: Over 150 Strategies Lived and Learned by a Professional Autism Consultant with 3 Sons on the Spectrum

Autism Every Day: Over 150 Strategies Lived and Learned by a Professional Autism Consultant with 3 Sons on the Spectrum
by Alyson Beytien (Author)


Stemming from a wealth of both professional and personal experience, this guidebook combines real-life stories of challenges and successes with practical ideas for handling autism, every day. Autism consultant Alyson Beytien outlines over 150 tried-and-true techniques for home, school, and community. Alyson’s three boys cover the whole spectrum of autism—Asperger’s syndrome, high-functioning autism, and classic autism. She understands the wide range of needs these children have and has discovered what helps and what hinders. Covering a full gamut of issues—from picky-eating and echolalia to IEPs and “The Woes of Walmart”—Alyson’s ideas and interventions will inspire and inform all those who are connected to a person with autism. Alyson believes that each day brings more...

© 2015 BrightSurf.com