HEALTH / FITNESS NEWS
November 08, 2012 12:00:00 AM
  Follow @ Twitter

Researchers said Thursday they had discovered a genetic mutation in people with autism that cuts communication between brain cells to about one-tenth of normal levels.

The study found a protein which helps brain cells transfer data through neurological pathways called synapses was mutated in autism sufferers, offering a likely explanation for their cognitive and behavioural difficulties.

Principal investigator Johanna Montgomery, from Auckland University's Centre for Brain Research, said the mutated protein, called Shank3, provided exciting possibilities in the search for autism treatments.

"(A treatment) is years away," she told AFP. "But we now know how it works, we know what goes wrong, so let's try to figure out a way to fix it.

"Now we've got a focus for how we actually rescue this protein, to make it work appropriately again so that brain cells can communicate at the right levels."

The two-year study, published in The Journal of Neuroscience, was carried out by the Centre for Brain Research and Stanford University in the United States.

Montgomery said researchers were beginning to understand the complex factors behind so-called autism spectrum disorders (ASD), which typically result in learning difficulties, lack of socialisation and repetitive behaviours.

She said the condition was becoming more prevalent, partly due to more efficient diagnosis, with studies estimating it affects about one-in-82 children.

AFP


 


PREVIOUS STORY
Porn filmmakers contest forced condom use
NEXT STORY
US porn filmmakers contest forced condom use

Bookmark and Share
   




FIJI NEWS
Aussie actress weds in Turtle IslandOne of Australia's favourite small-screen actresses reportedly tied the knot in Fiji early this month.
SPORTS
Rifle Range qualifies for first Sangam finalRifle Range of Lautoka will be making its first apperance in the Sangam Inter District Championship (IDC) later this afternoon after beating Malolo 4-3 in the penalty shooutout of the second semifinal.
LIFESTYLE/FASHION
Blake chase Ms World for FijiMiss World Fiji Director Andhy Blake is adamant to select the best contestants with a view to win Fiji the coveted Miss World crown.
ENTERTAINMENT
Sam Smithís debut In The Lonely Hour out in MayBRIT and BBC Sound Poll winner Sam Smithís debut album In The Lonely Hour is out on May 23.
OFFBEAT
Mercury 'took Princess Diana to gay barQueen singer Freddie Mercury disguised the late Princess Diana as a male model and smuggled her into a notorious gay bar, according to a memoir serialised in Britain's Sunday Times.
NEWS SPORTS INFOTAINMENT SERVICES MOBILE EXTRA HOT TOPICS