Targeting seizure activity in Autism may help improve language skills and intellectual disability.

Most children with Autism are also facing additional challenges like ADHD and Anxiety, and one third have Epilepsy. It appears that this is caused by a gene mutation which is also associated with language delay and intellectual disability.

 Photo by  Ben White  on  Unsplash

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

Research just published in Molecular Psychiatry has found out exactly what goes wrong - that the gene mutation affects special nerves in the brain (called inhibitory neurones) that normally work to “calm down” the brain.

This mutation shrinks the connections between these inhibitory neurones and other brain cells, which then makes it harder for them to calm down activity in the brain which causes seizures. The team of scientists are now working on drug treatments that could target this seizure activity, hoping that this will help some children with Autism.

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Reference -

Ruoqi Gao, Nicolas H. Piguel, Alexandria E. Melendez-Zaidi, Maria Dolores Martin-de-Saavedra, Sehyoun Yoon, Marc P. Forrest, Kristoffer Myczek, Gefei Zhang, Theron A. Russell, John G. Csernansky, D. James Surmeier, Peter Penzes. CNTNAP2 stabilizes interneuron dendritic arbors through CASK. Molecular Psychiatry, 2018; DOI: 10.1038/s41380-018-0027-3

 

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