Scientists have identified the causes in autism affecting one in 68 people in the United States. The people affected with neurological problem known as synapses caused by many connections in brain
“An increased number of synapses creates miscommunication among neurons in the developing brain that correlates with impairments in learning, although we don’t know how,” senior author Azad Bonni, head of the Department of Neuroscience at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, explained in a statement.
Molecular tags known as ubiquitins
The neurological affect considered to have link with gene. For proteins molecular tags attached known as ubiquitins which are caused by six types of genes “ubiquitin ligases”. These genes control the tagged proteins.
The researchers from Washington University observed that autism possess gene mutation preventing ubiquitin ligases functioning properly. For finding they removed RNF8 a ubiquitin gene in neurons in the cerebellum from the area affected by autism in brain of mice. The mice developed an excess of synapses, affected their ability in learning.
There are twice as strong synapses compared with normal functioning of cell when measuring the electrical signals in neurons.
researchers trained the mice to associate a puff of air to the eye with a blinking light. One week later, the control group avoided the irritation caused by the puff of air by closing their eyes 75 percent of the time. The test group only did so one-third of the time.
The scientists point out that a mouse that doesn’t shut its eyes when trained doesn’t quite equate to a human with autism. More work needed to verify the hypothesis. But it does reveal an interesting association between synapses and behavior that could one day lead to treatments.