February 1, 2023

Treatment in Early Life Prevents Autism Symptoms From Developing in Mice

The brain establishes abilities, like language, during particular periods of time called vital periods. The symptoms of disorders like autism emerge during a set vital period; administering a targeted intervention just throughout the vital period could avoid the condition from ever taking shape without the burden of a life-long treatment.
Treatment with rapamycin for 4 weeks prevents the beginning of social deficits in three-chamber social approach (left) and social novelty (right) screening. Credit: Gibson et al., JNeurosci 2021
Gibson et al. compared intervention timing in a hereditary mouse design of Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC), a neurodevelopmental disorder with high rates of autism spectrum disorder. The research study team administered the drug rapamycin to inhibit mTOR signaling, a path that is overactive in individuals and animals with TSC. After four weeks of treatment starting at one week of life, mutant mice showed regular social behaviors and regular activity in cerebellar Purkinje nerve cells, even after four weeks without treatment. These outcomes raise the possibility that treatment covering crucial periods of advancement might prevent autism signs from ever manifesting. As TSC is frequently identified in utero in humans, specifying these vital durations may provide a chance to prevent development of autism habits.
Recommendation: “A Critical Period for Development of Cerebellar-Mediated Autism-Relevant Social Behavior” 21 February 2022, JNeurosci.DOI: 10.1523/ JNEUROSCI.1230-21.2021.

By Society for Neuroscience
February 21, 2022

Recognizing the window of advancement might expose ideal time to intervene in autism.
When treating developmental conditions, timing is crucial. Obstructing an overactive signaling pathway throughout the very first 5 weeks of life avoids autism signs from ever establishing in mice, according to brand-new research study published in JNeurosci.

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