By Jason Clement
Autism is a developmental disorder characterized by impaired social interaction and communication, and by restricted and repetitive behavior. Parents generally detect it in the child's first years.
People affected by a common inherited form of autism could be helped by a drug that is being tested as a treatment for cancer, according to researchers from the University of Edinburgh and McGill University.
Secondary Contact Information
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.