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Neurobiology of Autism-article summaries.pdf

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Human Biology
Franco Taverna

Required readings for Neurobiology of Autism 1 Jacqueline N Crawley Testing Hypotheses About Autism Science October 2007 Cell adhesion molecules in synapses neurexin axon neuroligan dendrites Tabuchi et al found that mice with a mutation in neuroligan3 displayed increased activity in inhibitory synapses of the brain and this mutation has also been found in 2 autistic brothers with ASD There is a greater than 90 concordance rate for identical twins compared to a 10 concordance for fraternal twins suggests strong genetic cause No ubiquitous singlegene mutation has been linked to ASD which suggests that there are many factors that can affect the developing brain it is hard to develop good mouse models because its hard to create analogies to the 3 behavioral symptoms Autisitic children have altered neuronal connectivity and larger brains suggesting that we explore genes that control programmed cell death or dendritic pruning Autisitc children often have poor attention may implicate inhibitory neurophysiological mechanisms Mice with mutation in neuroligan 3 R451C show some deficits in the assessed social tasks but also showed faster acquisition and reversal in some components of learningthis is counterintuitive to what is expected This mutation in mice showed faster learning of Morris water maze but in the 2 brothers with this disorder no extra cognitive abilities found Another hypothesis is that autism has some relation to
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