Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder that is seen in 1 in 68 Americans and it affects language, attention, and movement. With the growing awareness surrounding autism, increased study has gone into trying to figure out what causes the condition. In an article posted on http://www.iflscience.com, a possible root for autism might have been found. The possible cause could be due to the individual with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) having too many synapses found within their brain. With this increased number of synapses, it results in miscommunication to occur between the neurons found within the developing brain.
With our current understanding of ASD, it is primarily a genetic condition with the possibility of some environmental triggers affecting it. With the genetic component, it has been observed that several genes have been licked to autism. Six of these genes are known as ubiquitin ligases and they are responsible for attaching ubiquitin tags onto proteins. With these tags, they can be compared to managers who tell how the rest of the cell is supposed to handle the tagged protein. Some experts have come to believe that people with ASD possess a gene mutation that prevents one of the ubiquitin ligases from working properly. As a result of this, the handling of the protein isn’t properly managed.
With the study of autism, mice experiments have been conducted where scientists removed the RNF8 gene from young mice in order to observe the results. What they noticed is that with its removal, they saw excessive synapse development occur within the affected mice. In addition to this, they observed that about a fifty percent increase in the synapse development was present accompanied by an impact occurring with their ability to learn. It was also noticed that twice as many electrical signals were occurring within the affected mice when compared to their neuro-typical counterparts. So there is a possibility that an increased level of synapses could result in the development of ASD. However, the development of ASD varies based upon the individual in question, so more study is needed.
For those who are interested in reading the aforementioned article, you can click here to do so.
You can also learn more about the condition as a whole by viewing our earlier blog entry found here.