Category: Brain Development

  • Pregnant mother’s immunity tied to behavioral, emotional challenges for kids with autism

    Children with autism born to mothers who had immune conditions during their pregnancy are more likely to have behavioral and emotional problems, a UC Davis Health study has found. The study examined maternal immune history as a predictor of symptoms in children with autism. “We tested the ability of maternal immune history to predict ASD […]

  • Preschool-aged biomarker discovered for autism spectrum disorder

    Researchers led by Takeo Yoshikawa at the RIKEN Center for Brain Science in Japan have discovered a biomarker that can detect autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in preschool-aged children. Published in Brain Communications, the new study found that levels of the protein FABP4 were much lower in four- to six-year-old children with ASD than they were […]

  • Becoming a nerve cell: Timing is of the essence

    Mitochondria are small organelles that provide the energy critical for each cell in our body, in particular in the high fuel-consuming brain. In this week’s edition of Science, a Belgian team of researchers led by Pierre Vanderhaeghen (VIB-KU Leuven, ULB) finds that mitochondria also regulate a key event during brain development: how neural stem cells […]

  • Young children would rather explore than get rewards

    Young children will pass up rewards they know they can collect to explore other options, a new study suggests.Researchers found that when adults and 4- to 5-year-old children played a game where certain choices earned them rewards, both adults and children quickly learned what choices would give them the biggest returns.

  • Imagery reveals autism-related brain differences

    People with autism spectrum disorder have lower levels of a protein that regulates the amount of serotonin in the brain, a paper from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry reports. For their study, the researchers used a molecular brain imaging technique to compare people with and without autism; their results offer […]

  • Offspring of mice fed imbalanced diets shown to be neurologically ‘programmed’ for obesity

    Pregnant mice fed a diet high in omega-6 fats and low in omega-3 fats produce offspring that go on to exhibit “hedonic”–pleasurable but excessive–levels of consumption of hyper-caloric diets, according to researchers at Hiroshima University.

  • Time and brain size – of mice and men

    The neocortex, the largest part of our brain, enables us to speak, dream and think. During human evolution, the size of the neocortex has increased dramatically. To understand what caused this expansion, researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics (MPI-CBG) in Dresden have focused in previous studies on a gene […]

  • Autism-Cholesterol Link

    Researchers at Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Northwestern University have identified a subtype of autism arising from a cluster of genes that regulate cholesterol metabolism and brain development. The researchers say their findings, published Aug. 10 in Nature Medicine, can inform both the design of precision-targeted therapies for this specific form of […]

  • Small set of genes may provide unique barcode for different types of brain cells in worms

    When it comes to brain cells, one size does not fit all. Neurons come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and contain different types of brain chemicals. But how did they get that way? A new study in Nature suggests that the identities of all the neurons in a worm are linked to unique […]

  • Toddlers who use touchscreens show attention differences

    Toddlers with high daily touchscreen use are faster to find targets that stood out during visual search compared to toddlers with no or low touchscreen use – according to new research.