Rapamycin

Micrograph of neuron dendrite segments.

Maternal sleep apnea may contribute to autism-like traits in rats

Pups born to mothers that experience low oxygen during sleep have overactive mTOR signaling, which has been linked to some forms of autism.

By Angie Voyles Askham
18 March 2022 | 5 min read

Autism model mice develop typical social and motor behaviors after drug treatment

The drug suppresses an overactive signaling pathway implicated in tuberous sclerosis complex.

By Laura Dattaro
9 March 2022 | 5 min read

Synaptic overgrowth, hyperconnectivity may define autism subtype

Model mice of the subtype also show hyperactivity in a signaling pathway called mTOR, bolstering the idea that distinct forms of autism have different biological roots and may require different treatment approaches.

By Angie Voyles Askham
18 November 2021 | 4 min read
Spectrum Microphone

Molecular overlap links tuberous sclerosis, fragile X

Brain cells from the cerebellums of mice that model tuberous sclerosis show dampened levels of proteins controlled by FMRP, the protein missing in fragile X syndrome.

By Rachel Zamzow
16 August 2021 | 5 min read
Illustration showing the human brain with neurons made out of flower shapes and the cerebellum highlighted in gold and yellow.

Brain’s motor hub plays unsung role in social skills, cognition

Long known as the director of movement, the cerebellum may also coordinate social and cognitive abilities, including those central to autism.

By Sarah DeWeerdt
9 March 2020 | 7 min read

Mouse study reveals overlooked target for autism therapies

Blocking one form of an enzyme implicated in autism eases unusual behaviors and seizures in mice missing a top autism gene.

By Nicholette Zeliadt
20 November 2019 | 4 min read
row of babies playing with toys that look like genome sequence

Studies of tuberous sclerosis may shed light on biology of autism

Tuberous sclerosis provides a unique opportunity to understand autism because about half of people with that single-gene condition also have autism.

By Mustafa Sahin
24 September 2019 | 5 min read
Two scientists standing in a lab.

Family ties: Sabatini brothers crack codes that may underlie autism

David and Bernardo Sabatini, brothers born just a year and a half year apart, invent their way to answering big questions about autism.

By Hannah Furfaro
30 August 2018 | 9 min read
group of rats on wood chips

Drug in trials for one autism-linked condition may worsen another

The drug rapamycin, which is in clinical trials as a treatment for tuberous sclerosis, may exacerbate features of fragile X syndrome, another condition related to autism.

By Hannah Furfaro
26 January 2018 | 4 min read
Mice missing the tuberous sclerosis gene in astrocytes have frequent seizures.

Cancer drug wards off seizures in mouse model of tuberous sclerosis

A drug called rapamycin prevents seizures in a mouse model of the autism-related condition tuberous sclerosis complex.

By Hannah Furfaro
13 November 2017 | 3 min read

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