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Spectrumnews.org: Selective enzyme block reveals new treatment for fragile X

Spectrumnews.org: Selective enzyme block reveals new treatment for fragile X

Muted risk: A new compound minimizes fragile X mice’s sensitivity to loud sounds.

Mirko Sobotta / shutterstock

A new drug that selectively blocks one form of an enzyme called GSK-3 prevents seizures and improves cognitive deficits in a mouse model of fragile X syndrome.

Researchers presented the unpublished findings today at

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Spectrumnews.org: AI interprets marmosets' trills, chirps and peeps

Spectrumnews.org: AI interprets marmosets' trills, chirps and peeps

Big talkers: Marmosets’ vocabulary includes 10 to 15 calls, each with its own meaning.

Ryan Ladbrook / shutterstock

New artificial intelligence software can decode conversations between small monkeys called marmosets. Researchers reported the findings today at the 2017 Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in Washington D.C.

Marmosets are social animals that

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Spectrumnews.org: Experimental Huntington's drug improves gait in Rett mice

Spectrumnews.org: Experimental Huntington's drug improves gait in Rett mice

First steps: A drug called pridopidine improves limb coordination and other motor skills in mouse models of Rett syndrome.

A candidate drug in clinical trials for Huntington’s disease reverses gait problems in a mouse model of Rett syndrome. The drug, called pridopidine, binds to a protein that is implicated in

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Spectrumnews.org: Maternal asthma alters immune cells in fetal brain

Spectrumnews.org: Maternal asthma alters immune cells in fetal brain

Cellular surveillance: Microglia (white), the brain’s resident immune cells, have been implicated in autism.

Juan Gaertner / shutterstock

Mouse pups exposed to an immune response in the womb show autism-like behaviors and altered gene expression in brain cells called microglia.

Researchers presented the findings today at the 2017 Society for Neuroscience

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Spectrumnews.org: Grouping people with autism masks variations in visual learning

Spectrumnews.org: Grouping people with autism masks variations in visual learning

Cartoon cues: Children with autism vary in how well they perform on a “SpongeBob SquarePants” game.

Paramount Pictures / courtesy Everett Collection

Some young children with autism excel on tests in which they must learn to connect visual cues. And yet learning ability varies greatly among children on the spectrum, such

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Spectrumnews.org: Magnetic stimulation bares imbalance of activity in fragile X brains

Spectrumnews.org: Magnetic stimulation bares imbalance of activity in fragile X brains

Firing frenzy: By magnetically stimulating the brain, researchers can measure the strength of signals that dampen or boost brain activity.

GARO / PHANIE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Researchers have used transcranial magnetic stimulation to show that people with fragile X syndrome have weak ‘inhibitory’ signals, those that dampen neuronal activity in the

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Spectrumnews.org: Chromosome 16 deletion miswires brain in people, mice

Spectrumnews.org: Chromosome 16 deletion miswires brain in people, mice

Missed signals: People missing a copy of 16p11.2 have weak connections (blue) between certain brain regions.

Mice and people missing a copy of a chromosomal region called 16p11.2 show similar patterns of weak brain connections.

The results suggest that the mice faithfully represent at least some features of people with

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Spectrumnews.org: Missing brain wave may explain language problems in nonverbal autism

Spectrumnews.org: Missing brain wave may explain language problems in nonverbal autism

Broken wave: Nonverbal children with autism (bottom) show little activity in brain areas that are active in controls (top) when linking objects to their names.

Nonverbal children with autism don’t show the typical wave of brain activity involved in linking objects with their names. This is likely to be one

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Spectrumnews.org: Face processing may improve over time in children with autism

Spectrumnews.org: Face processing may improve over time in children with autism

Clear clues: A specific area of the brain responds to facial expressions such as fear.

PeopleImages / iStock

The activity of the brain’s face detector, the fusiform gyrus, in response to faces is greater in adolescents with autism than it is in younger children with the condition. Researchers presented the unpublished

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Spectrumnews.org: Powerful duo of techniques charts signals' path through brain

Spectrumnews.org: Powerful duo of techniques charts signals' path through brain

Follow the light: Magnetoencephalography picks up the tiny magnetic fields produced by neuronal activity.

Hank Morgan / Science Source

Combining a brain imaging technique with a neuron stimulation method can reveal how activity at one site travels through neural networks in the brain, researchers reported today at the 2017 Society for

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Spectrumnews.org: Realistic social test identifies new language area in brain

Spectrumnews.org: Realistic social test identifies new language area in brain

Wired up: A method of measuring blood flow in the brain allows people to sit upright, as they normally would while conversing with others.

A test designed to capture the dynamic back-and-forth of conversation suggests the existence of a new language area in the brain. The brain’s subcentral area, previously

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Spectrumnews.org: Researchers simulate neuron down to sub-micron detail

Spectrumnews.org: Researchers simulate neuron down to sub-micron detail

Electrical forest: The program simulates the elaborate branches of Purkinje cells.

Courtesy of OIST

A software program can simulate a neuron with realistic 3-D detail in a matter of hours, researchers reported Saturday at the 2017 Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in Washington D.C.

The free software, called STEPS, can be

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Spectrumnews.org: 'Fragile' behaviors mar studies of popular autism mouse model

Spectrumnews.org: 'Fragile' behaviors mar studies of popular autism mouse model

Uncertain outcomes: Some unusual behaviors of mice missing FMR1 disappear when conditions change slightly.

Georgejason / iStock

Researchers should proceed with caution when studying the behavior of one of the most popular mouse models of autism: the fragile X mouse model. That’s the upshot of five years’ worth of data collected

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