Autism & Development Disabilites

//Autism & Development Disabilites
9 07, 2018

Prospective Identification of Individuals with a Brain Overgrowth Form of Autism | Piven, Zyika, Stein | $40,000

Prospective Identification of Individuals with a Brain Overgrowth Form of Autism Award: $40,000 This grant will take a first step towards developing a polygenic risk score for brain overgrowth in a large sample of human neural progenitor cells. Understanding the genetic basis of brain overgrowth will enable the development of this important tool for identification of infants at increased risk for the overgrowth form of autism in the general population. Joseph Piven, M.D., with Mark Zylka, Ph.D. and Jason Stein, Ph.D. Need/Problem: Early (pre-symptomatic) brain overgrowth has emerged as a primary mechanism underlying the development of later autism in a subset of infants at high familial risk for this disorder.  Understanding the genetic basis of brain overgrowth will enable the development of a genetic tool (genetic risk score for brain overgrowth) for [...]

9 07, 2018

Excitation-inhibition imbalance in autistic auditory cortex and its effects on spectro-temporal sound integration | Kato | $100,000

Excitation-inhibition imbalance in autistic auditory cortex and its effects on spectro-temporal sound integration Award: $100,000 Recent studies on autistic patients have accumulated rich knowledge on these diseases at both genetic and behavioral levels. However, we still know little about the neuronal circuit mechanisms that connect the gene mutations to the behavioral deficits. Researchers will study how disturbed interplay between excitatory and inhibitory neurons leads to auditory processing deficits in autistic brains. The circuit-level knowledge obtained in this study will help identifying the novel therapeutic entry points for developing future treatments. Hiroyuki Kato, Ph.D. Need/Problem: In social species like humans, hearing is of particular importance for vocal communication among conspecifics. In this research, we aim to understand the neuronal circuit mechanisms that lead to disturbed auditory processing in autistic brains. Grant Summary: Using [...]