Shalini Sivathasan, PhD student in with our Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology (ECP), has contributed an article to the South Asian Autism Awareness Centre (SAAAC), where she has volunteered since 2013. In the news item Shalini reflects on her experiences working with children and young adults who have been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
Researchers from McGill University and the University of Montreal have identified a crucial link between protein synthesis and autism spectrum disorders (ASD), which can bolster new therapeutic avenues. Regulation of protein synthesis, also termed mRNA translation, is the process by which cells manufacture proteins. This mechanism is involved in all aspects of cell and organism function. A new study in mice has found that abnormally high synthesis of a group of neuronal proteins called neuroligins results in symptoms similar to those diagnosed in ASD. The study also reveals that autism-like behaviors can be rectified in adult mice with compounds inhibiting protein synthesis, or with gene-therapy targeting neuroligins. Their results are published in the journal Nature.