Defective Gene Causes Autism-Like Behavior, University of California, Davis (UCD) Reveals
Published: Aug 13, 2012
Scientists affiliated with the UC Davis MIND Institute have discovered how a defective gene causes brain changes that lead to the atypical social behavior characteristic of autism. The research offers a potential target for drugs to treat the condition. Earlier research already has shown that the gene is defective in children with autism, but its effect on neurons in the brain was not known. The new studies in mice show that abnormal action of just this one gene disrupted energy use in neurons. The harmful changes were coupled with antisocial and prolonged repetitive behavior -- traits found in autism.