Tuesday January 28, 2020

Genetic Alteration Can Increase Risk of Developing Autism and Tourette’s Syndrome

Some researchers also found that the ability of the Thalamic brain regions to communicate with other brain areas was impaired by the genetic deletion

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Genetic
Genetic deletion disrupts a brain area known as the Thalamus, compromising its ability to communicate with other brain areas. Pixabay

Researchers have discovered how a Genetic Alteration that increases the risk of developing Autism and Tourette’s impairs brain communication.

People with a genetic deletion known as chromosome 2p16.3 deletion often experience developmental delay and have learning difficulties.

They are also around 15 times more likely to develop Autism and 20 times more likely to develop Tourette’s Syndrome, but the mechanisms involved are not completely understood.

Using brain imaging studies, neuroscientists showed that deletion of the gene impacted by 2p16.3 deletion (Neurexin1) have impacts on the function of brain regions involved in both conditions.

This genetic deletion disrupts a brain area known as the Thalamus, compromising its ability to communicate with other brain areas, said the study published in the journal Cerebral Cortex.

“We currently have a very poor understanding of how the 2p16.3 deletion dramatically increases the risk of developing these disorders,” said lead researcher Neil Dawson of Lancaster University in Britain.

“However, we know that the 2p16.3 deletion involves deletion of the Neurexin1 gene, a gene that makes a protein responsible for allowing neurons to communicate effectively,” Dawson said.

Deletion of the Neurexin1 gene affects brain areas involved in Autism and Tourette’s including the Thalamus, a collection of brain regions that play a key role in helping other brain areas communicate with each other.

Autism
Researchers have discovered how a Genetic Alteration that increases the risk of developing Autism and Tourette’s impairs brain communication. Pixabay

Changes were also found in brain regions involved in processing sensory information and in learning and memory.

Importantly, the researchers also found that the ability of the Thalamic brain regions to communicate with other brain areas was impaired by the genetic deletion.

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They then tested the ability of a low dose of the drug Ketamine, which is used clinically at higher doses as an anesthetic, to normalise the alterations in brain function induced by genetic deletion.

“Intriguingly our data suggest that Ketamine can restore some aspects of the brain dysfunction that results from 2p16.3 deletion and suggests that ketamine, or other related drugs, may be useful in treating some of the symptoms seen in autism and Tourette’s,” Dawson said. (IANS)

Next Story

Keto diet May Help You To Fight Against Alzheimer’s Disease, Says Study

Increasing SIRT3 levels via ketone consumption may be a way to protect interneurons and delay the progression of Alzheimer's disease

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Diet
"Ketogenic" is a term for a low-carb diet (like the Atkins diet). The idea is for you to get more calories from protein and fat and less from carbohydrates. Pixabay

Eating low-carb and high-fat diet can help you fight against Alzheimer’s disease, by protect neurons from death during the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, according to new research in mice.

“Ketogenic” is a term for a low-carb diet (like the Atkins diet). The idea is for you to get more calories from protein and fat and less from carbohydrates. You cut back most on the carbs that are easy to digest, like sugar, soda, pastries and white bread.

Early in the development of Alzheimer’s disease, the brain becomes over excited, potentially through the loss of inhibitory, or GABAergic, interneurons that keep other neurons from signaling too much. Because interneurons require more energy compared to other neurons, they may be more susceptible to dying when they encounter the Alzheimer’s disease protein amyloid beta.

Amyloid beta has been shown to damage mitochondria – the metabolic engine for cells – by interfering with SIRT3, a protein that preserves mitochondrial functions and protects neurons. Researchers from the Society for Neuroscience genetically reduced levels of SIRT3 in mouse models of Alzheimer’s disease.

Diet
Eating low-carb and high-fat diet can help you fight against Alzheimer’s disease, by protect neurons from death during the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, according to new research in mice. Pixabay

Mice with low levels of SIRT3 experienced a much higher mortality rate, more violent seizures and increased interneuron death compared to the mice from the standard Alzheimer’s disease model and control mice.

However, the mice with reduced levels of SIRT3 experienced fewer seizures and were less likely to die when they ate a diet rich in ketones, a specific type of fatty acid. The diet also increased levels of SIRT3 in the mice.

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“Increasing SIRT3 levels via ketone consumption may be a way to protect interneurons and delay the progression of Alzheimer’s disease,” report researchers. (IANS)