HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Columbia researcher identifies cellular defect that may contribute to autism

NEW YORK, NY, January 27 The causes of autism have long remained a mystery, but new research from Columbia University Medical Center has identified, for the first time, how a cellular defect may be involved in the often crippling neurological disorder.

The research, which is published in today's issue of Science, examines how a defect in neuroligin genes may contribute to autism. Neuroligins are components of synapses, which connect individual neurons in the brain. The researchers found that the loss of neuroligins perturbs the formation of neuronal connections and results in an imbalance of neuronal function. This imbalance provides an explanation for the neurodevelopmental defects in autistic children.

"Understanding the cellular defects that may underlie autism-spectrum disorders represents an important step towards the goal of providing therapies," said Peter Scheiffele, Ph.D., assistant professor of physiology and cellular biophysics at Columbia University Medical Center, and principal investigator on the study.

A defect in the neuroligin genes had previously been observed in autistic patients, but its functional significance was not yet understood. Scheiffele's study showed that in rat neurons without any neuroligin, connections between neurons are altered in a way that is strikingly similar to those found in autistic children.

Each neuron in the brain receives many different inputs some are excitatory and signal the neuron to fire, and some are inhibitory and signal the neuron to stop firing. Scheiffele's research team found that neuroligin genes are responsible for regulating the balance between excitatory and inhibitory synaptic function. A defect in neuroligin leads to a selective loss in inhibitory function and thereby impairs the fine-tuning of neuronal connectivity, a neurological problem that is understood to play a role in autism.

"There is much we still don't know about how neurons con
'"/>

Contact: Craig LeMoult
cel2113@columbia.edu
212-305-0820
Columbia University Medical Center
27-Jan-2005


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Columbia University Medical Center awarded $3 million to drive Alzheimers genetics research
2. Columbia scientists determine 3-dimensional structure of cells fuel gauge
3. Columbia University licenses next-generation DNA sequencing technology
4. New bird discovered on unexplored Columbian mountain
5. Columbia University Medical Center receives major new NIH Clinical Science investment funds
6. Columbia University awards 2006 Horwitz Prize to biologist who explained gene transcription
7. Columbia University receives $16.9 million NIEHS award to study arsenic in ground water
8. Contaminants linked to sturgeon decline in Columbia river
9. Columbia University Medical Center researchers discover potential mechanism for tumor growth
10. UF, Columbia scientists closer to new cancer detection method
11. Columbia University awards 2005 Horwitz Prize to Israeli structural biologist

Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/14/2014)... scientists led by researchers at the University of ... Miami Miller School of Medicine (UMMSM) have identified ... bipolar (manic depressive) disorder, a breakthrough that could ... disorder, as well as depression and other related ... this week in Nature Molecular Psychiatry , ...
(Date:10/14/2014)... between 10 and 20 years to develop, providing ... intervention if detected early, which may be possible ... clinical researchers. , Dr Jeremy Humphris and ... Medical Research, analysed medical histories and tumour samples ... patients, operated on between 1994 and 20122. Roughly ...
(Date:10/14/2014)... from Stanford University School of Medicine have discovered a ... the activation of muscle stem cells. Cells use autophagy ... times of nutrient deprivation. The scientists report in ... is operational it also seems to assist in the ... stem cells emerge from a quiescent state there is ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Rare genetic disease protects against bipolar disorder 2Rare genetic disease protects against bipolar disorder 3Early detection window when pancreatic cancer is in the family 2Autophagy helps fast track stem cell activation 2
(Date:10/18/2014)... 18, 2014 The Asian Electronic Medical Record ... Asian with analysis and forecast of revenue. The electronic medical ... to $2,328.0 million by 2018, at a CAGR of 9.4% ... the Asian Electronic Medical Record (EMR) market, to get an ... glimpse of the segmentation of the market in the same ...
(Date:10/18/2014)... According to a new market research report “Hydraulic Fracturing ... & Forecasts up till 2017”, hydraulic fracturing market will ... is expected to increase from $40 billion in 2012 ... the same period. North America is expected to lead ... hydraulic horse power supplied by the year 2011. , ...
(Date:10/18/2014)... (PRWEB) October 18, 2014 The ... Stress, Holter Monitor), by End-user (Hospitals, Home/Ambulatory, Research ... (Single, 3-6, 12) -Global Forecast to 2020” provides ... challenges, opportunities, current market trends, and strategies impacting ... estimates and forecasts of the revenue and share ...
(Date:10/17/2014)... through the looking-glass to Wonderland, mirrors in the real ... including a new class of mirror that works like ... Optical Society,s (OSA) new high-impact journal Optica ... a new type of mirror that forgoes a familiar ... using an unusual magnetic property of a non-metallic metamaterial. ...
Breaking Biology Technology:The Asian Electronic Medical Record (EMR) market is estimated to grow to $2,328.0 million by 2018 - New Report by MicroMarket Monitor 2The Asian Electronic Medical Record (EMR) market is estimated to grow to $2,328.0 million by 2018 - New Report by MicroMarket Monitor 3The Asian Electronic Medical Record (EMR) market is estimated to grow to $2,328.0 million by 2018 - New Report by MicroMarket Monitor 4The Asian Electronic Medical Record (EMR) market is estimated to grow to $2,328.0 million by 2018 - New Report by MicroMarket Monitor 5Hydraulic Fracturing Market Projected To Reach $64 Billion by 2017 - New Report by MarketsandMarkets 2Hydraulic Fracturing Market Projected To Reach $64 Billion by 2017 - New Report by MarketsandMarkets 3Hydraulic Fracturing Market Projected To Reach $64 Billion by 2017 - New Report by MarketsandMarkets 4The Electrocardiograph (ECG) Market Is Expected to Reach $5,435 Million By 2020 - New Research Report by MarketsandMarkets 2The Electrocardiograph (ECG) Market Is Expected to Reach $5,435 Million By 2020 - New Research Report by MarketsandMarkets 3The Electrocardiograph (ECG) Market Is Expected to Reach $5,435 Million By 2020 - New Research Report by MarketsandMarkets 4The Electrocardiograph (ECG) Market Is Expected to Reach $5,435 Million By 2020 - New Research Report by MarketsandMarkets 5Magnetic mirrors enable new technologies by reflecting light in uncanny ways 2Magnetic mirrors enable new technologies by reflecting light in uncanny ways 3Magnetic mirrors enable new technologies by reflecting light in uncanny ways 4
Cached News: