NASET News Alert

Scientists Learn More About How Gene Linked to Autism Affects Brain

June 25, 2018

New preclinical research shows a gene already linked to a subset of people with autism spectrum disorder is critical to healthy neuronal connections in the developing brain, and its loss can harm those connections to help fuel the complex developmental condition. Scientists at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center report in Developmental Cell their data clarify the biological role of the gene CHD8 and its protein CHD8 in developing oligodendrocytes, cells that form a protective insulation around nerves. The sheath supports neuronal connections in the brain and manifest themselves in white matter. Although previous studies show disruptive mutations in CHD8 cause autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) and abnormalities in the brain's white matter, the underlying biology has been a mystery. Read More

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