GABA

Image of the dorsal raphe area of the brain.

Neurotransmitter switch-up helps fan extreme stress into full-blown fear

The flip occurs when certain neurons in the dorsal raphe start to express the chemical GABA instead of glutamate, a new study shows.

By Claudia López Lloreda
9 April 2024 | 5 min read
A hand reaches from above to add a pill to a stack that is resting against the x-axis of a graph.

Looking at eye tracking’s potential for clinical trials

This month’s Going on Trial newsletter explores how eye tracking might be used beyond helping with diagnosis, among other drug development news.

By Calli McMurray
28 September 2023 | 6 min read
Photograph of white pills and blister pack on blue pastel colored background.
Spectrum Microphone

Trials of arbaclofen for autism yield mixed results

Autistic children taking the drug showed improvements in some behaviors but not in their social skills.

By Giorgia Guglielmi
5 May 2023 | 5 min read
Research image of cultured neurons.
Epilepsy Microphone

Cannabis compound rebalances signaling to quell seizures in mice

Cannabidiol (CBD) blocks the action of a molecule that drives an overexcitability feedback loop in a rodent model of epilepsy.

By Peter Hess
22 March 2023 | 5 min listen

Single gene insufficient to account for dup15q, Angelman traits

UBE3A, a key gene associated with both autism-linked conditions, can explain most — but not all — of the syndromes’ atypical neuronal properties.

By Angie Voyles Askham
21 March 2023 | 6 min read
Illustration of hybrid objects: part light bulb, part lab vial, some in blue and some in red to signify null and replicated results.

Null and Noteworthy: Busting biomarkers; going after GABA; reproducibility illusion

In this edition of Null and Noteworthy, scientists find little to be excited about in research on biomarkers for neurodevelopmental conditions.

By Laura Dattaro
16 February 2023 | 4 min read
A hand reaches from above to add a pill to a stack that is resting against the x-axis of a graph.

Going on Trial: Arbaclofen reboot; cell implants; psilocybin microdoses

Going on Trial rounds up new developments in autism-related drug trials. This month we’re revisiting decade-old data from a trial of arbaclofen for fragile X syndrome and looking into a new implant-based approach to quelling seizures, among other treatment strategies.

By Peter Hess
25 January 2023 | 6 min read
Single astrocyte on black background.

Mouse studies cast astrocytes as stars of sensory perception

Data from two separate research teams suggest the cells are key to sensory hypersensitivity in fragile X syndrome.

By Sarah DeWeerdt
13 November 2022 | 4 min read
Laura Cancedda in Iama's lab.

Building a better drug

Iama Therapeutics is hoping a new class of molecule will prove successful against an old target in autism.

By Alla Katsnelson
6 October 2022 | 12 min read

Portrait of a research field: astrocytes in autism

Long cast in supporting roles in the brain, astrocytes are now emerging as primary players in certain characteristics of autism and related conditions.

By Lauren Schenkman
14 July 2022 | 14 min read

Explore more from The Transmitter

Brain organoids overgrowth; DSCAM gene; sleep issues in autism

Here is a roundup of autism-related news and research spotted around the web for the week of 24 June.

By Jill Adams
25 June 2024 | 2 min read
Close-up image of a dead fly with visible growths protruding from its abdomen due to Entomophthora fungus infection.

Mind control in zombie flies: Q&A with Carolyn Elya

A parasitic fungus compels its insect host to behave in strange ways by hijacking secretory neurons and circadian pathways.

By Shaena Montanari
25 June 2024 | 5 min read
Illustration of a canyon landscape with an orange clock face in place of a sun.

How to teach this paper: ‘Behavioral time scale synaptic plasticity underlies CA1 place fields,’ by Bittner and Milstein et al. (2017)

Katie Bittner, Aaron Milstein and their colleagues found that cellular learning can happen over longer timescales than Hebb’s rule predicts. How long should we wait to teach students about this phenomenon?

By Ashley Juavinett
24 June 2024 | 11 min read