Brain Regions Critical For Social Behavior And Cognition Affected By Gene Defect, Leading To Autism-Like Behavior
[Source: Medical News Today]
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 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.
Read the Rest of this Article on Medical News Today
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