Brain Development

Autism Spectrum Disorder Is Associated with Ventricular Enlargement in a Low Birth Weight Population

Source: 
Journal of Pediatrics
Date Published: 
February 13, 2013
Abstract: 

This new study in the Journal of Pediatrics links ventricular enlargement in the brains of low-birth-weight neonates to ASD.

A Quantitative Link between Face Discrimination Deficits and Neuronal Selectivity for Faces in Autism

Source: 
NeuroImage: Clinical
Date Published: 
March 15, 2013
Abstract: 

In this fMRI study of adults with ASD, reduced neuronal selectivity for faces was linked to greater behavioral deficits in face recognition.

Developmental Trajectories of Resting EEG Power: an Endophenotype of Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Source: 
PLoS One
Date Published: 
2012
Abstract: 

Differences in the nature of the trajectories of EEG power represent important endophenotypes of ASD.

Special Report: Connectivity

Source: 
SFARI
Date Published: 
March 25, 2013
Abstract: 

This special report from the Simons Foundation looks at neural connectivity theories of autism.

Developmental Meta-Analysis of the Functional Neural Correlates of Autism Spectrum Disorders

Source: 
Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Date Published: 
December 26, 2012
Abstract: 

According to this recent meta-analysis of fMRI studies, autism-related changes in brain activity may continue to develop with age.

Astroglial FMRP-Dependent Translational Down-regulation of mGluR5 Underlies Glutamate Transporter GLT1 Dysregulation in the Fragile X Mouse

Source: 
Human Molecular Genetics
Date Published: 
February 7, 2013
Abstract: 

This paper discusses the role fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP) plays in protein expression in astrocytes, and suggests that FMRP loss in astrocytes may contribute to the development of fragile X.

Impaired Coordination of Brain Activity in Autism Involves Local, as Well as Long-Range, Signaling

Source: 
Science Daily
Date Published: 
January 14, 2013
Abstract: 

MEG study finds diminished long-range and local functional connectivity as individuals with ASD viewed faces. The study challenges the popular assumption that only long-range connectivity is reduced in ASD.

Timothy Syndrome is Associated with Activity-dependent Dendritic Retraction in Rodent and Human Neurons

Source: 
Nature Neuroscience
Date Published: 
January 13, 2012
Abstract: 

Stanford researchers, including ASF Grantee Alex Shcheglovitov, discovered a key mechanism underlying Timothy syndrome, a disorder associated with ASD.

Placental Regulation of Maternal-fetal Interactions and Brain Development

Source: 
Developmental Neurobiology
Date Published: 
August 23, 2012
Abstract: 

"A variety prenatal insults are associated with the incidence of neurodevelopmental disorders such as schizophrenia, autism and cerebral palsy. While the precise mechanisms underlying how transient gestational challenges can lead to later life dysfunctions are largely unknown, the placenta is likely to play a key role. The literal interface between maternal and fetal cells resides in the placenta, and disruptions to the maternal or intrauterine environment are necessarily conveyed to the developing embryo via the placenta. Placental cells bear the responsibility of promoting maternal tolerance of the semiallogeneic fetus and regulating selective permeability of nutrients, gases, and antibodies, while still providing physiological protection of the embryo from adversity. The placenta's critical role in modulating immune protection and the availability of nutrients and endocrine factors to the offspring implicates its involvement in autoimmunity, growth restriction and hypoxia, all factors associated with the development of neurological complications. In this review, we summarize primary maternal-fetal interactions that occur in the placenta and describe pathways by which maternal insults can impair these processes and disrupt fetal brain development. We also review emerging evidence for placental dysfunction in the prenatal programming of neurodevelopmental disorders."