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You may be as friendly as your genes

Scientists have found that CD38 and CD157 genes that regulate oxytocin, the supreme human social hormone, are associated with the sociality of young individuals. They found that young adults who have higher expression of the CD38 gene as well as differences in CD157 gene sequence are friendlier and more socially adept than others. Show More Summary

Gut microbes may talk to the brain through cortisol

Gut microbes have been in the news lately. Recent studies show they can influence human health, behavior, and certain neurological disorders, such as autism. But just how do they communicate with the brain? Results from a new study suggest...Show More Summary

Novel stem cell-derived model created of inflammatory neurological disorder

An international team of scientists, has created a human stem cell-based model of a rare, but devastating, inherited neurological autoimmune condition called Aicardi-Goutieres Syndrome (AGS). In doing so, the team was able to identify unusual and surprising underlying genetic mechanisms that drive AGS and test strategies to inhibit the condition using existing drugs.

Too near, or too far? What fruit flies teach us about personal space

Until now, little has been understood about the mechanisms that allow us to determine when someone is 'too near' our personal space or too far away. A biologist has found dopamine levels in fruit flies can give us clues into humans' need for personal space.

Tiny molecule has big effect on brain's ability to learn

Prenatal brain development is a crucial period, and as new research has found, even small alterations to the way brain cells develop can have significant effects later in life. Scientists have shed light on the role that small molecules called microRNAs play in early brain development. Show More Summary

MRI reveals striking brain differences in people with genetic autism

Researchers using MRI have identified structural abnormalities in the brains of people with one of the most common genetic causes of autism, according to a new study, the first major study of its kind.

High quality early intervention for children with autism quickly results in costs savings

The costs associated with the Early Start Denver Model (ESDM), one evidence-based treatment for young children with autism, were fully offset after only two years following intervention due to reductions in children's use of other services, new research shows.

Autism may reflect excitation-inhibition imbalance in brain, study finds

Key features of autism reflect an imbalance in signaling from excitatory and inhibitory neurons in a portion of the forebrain, and that reversing the imbalance could alleviate some of its hallmark symptoms, explain researchers in a new article.

People with autism are less surprised by the unexpected

Adults with autism may overestimate the volatility of the world around them, finds a new study.

Autism severity detected with brain activity test

Children with autism have a tell-tale difference on brain tests compared with other children, researchers have found. Specifically, the researchers found that the lower a child's peak alpha frequency -- a number reflecting the frequency of certain brain waves -- the lower their non-verbal IQ was. This is the first study to highlight peak alpha frequency as a promising biomarker.

New map may lead to drug development for complex brain disorders, researcher says

Just as parents are not the root of all their children's problems, a single gene mutation can't be blamed for complex brain disorders like autism, according to a neuroscientist. To help researchers see the big picture, researchers created the first map that highlights the brain's network of protein associations. Show More Summary

'Residual echo' of ancient humans in scans may hold clues to mental disorders

Researchers have produced the first direct evidence that parts of our brains implicated in mental disorders may be shaped by a 'residual echo' from Neanderthal DNA in our genomes. Evidence from MRI scans suggests that such ancient genetic...Show More Summary

Eye test could help diagnose autism

A new study could herald a new tool that helps physicians identify a sub-group of people with Autism spectrum disorders (ASD). The test, which consists of measuring rapid eye movements, may indicate deficits in an area of the brain that plays an important role in emotional and social development.

New insight into genetic basis of neuropsychiatric disorders

New insight into the genetic basis of neuropsychiatric disorders has been provided through new study. In this research, the first mouse model of a mutation in the ARID1B gene was created and then used to show that growth hormone treatments reverse some manifestations of the mutation.

Art therapy best practices for children with autism

A researcher is working with art therapists to find better ways to treat children who have Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Researchers were able to develop a set of guidelines for delivering art therapy to children who have ASD.

Blueprint for adult visual system is present at birth

Research reveals the presence of a blueprint for the complex visual system already present at birth. The observations shed light on a long-standing mystery about how and when certain cardinal features of the visual system develop.

Tools help identify patients at risk for autism spectrum disorders

A tool intended to detect signs of autism in high-risk infants can be used to help identify and treat patients with tuberous sclerosis complex, a genetic disorder, who most need early intervention. Moreover, they can identify these patients earlier than ever before, report researchers.

Late-breaking mutations may play an important role in autism

Mutations that occur after conception play an important role in autism, suggests a new study of nearly 6,000 families, combining three genetic sequencing technologies.

Structural insights into the modulation of synaptic adhesion by MDGA for synaptogenesis

The 3-D structure of MDGA1/Neuroligin-2 complex have been revealed by researchers, along with mechanistic insights into how MDGAs negatively modulate synapse development governed by Neurexins/Neuroligins trans-synaptic adhesion comp...

Exposing newborn mice to general anesthetic disrupts brain development

New research now shows that early postnatal mice exposed to isoflurane -- a standard and widely used inhaled general anesthetic agent -- leads to chronic, abnormal activation of the mTOR pathway, a signaling system critical for normal brain development.

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