Michelangelo Logo
MICHELANGELO
New technology to help children with Autism

Scientists make autism breakthrough

Neuroscientists reported on Thursday that, at least in lab mice, a drug that restores the healthy “synaptic pruning” that normally occurs during brain development also reverses autistic-like behaviours such as avoiding social interaction.

“We were able to treat mice after the disease had appeared,” neurobiologist David Sulzer of Columbia University Medical Centre, who led the study published in the journal Neuron, said in a telephone interview. That suggests the disease could one day be treated in teenagers and adults, “though there is a lot of work to be done,” he said.

A synapse is where one neuron communicates with another, forming functional circuits. With too many synapses, a “brain region that should be talking only to a select number of other regions is receiving irrelevant information from many others,” Ralph-Axel Müller of San Diego State University said by email. He has done pioneering work in overconnectivity and was not involved in the Neuron study, which he deemed “extremely exciting.”

More information on: iol Scitech

top top
Copyright © 2012 - 2014 Michelangelo Project - Helping Children with Autism
The Michelangelo Project is co-funded from the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement n° #288241