Tadpoles help San Diego researchers get insight into autism

CC BY-NC by C Simmons

Tadpoles are helping researchers at Brown University understand the mechanisms of autism.

The ‘tadpole model of autism‘ was presented to the  presented a tadpole model of autism at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience in San Diego by Eric James GS of Brown University.

James and Arseny Khakhalin, a postdoctoral fellow, started studying tadpole autism in Associate Professor of Neuroscience Carlos Aizenman’s laboratory about a year ago. Tadpoles were used because of their cellular simplicity and autism is partly caused by the mis-wiring of electrical pathways at a cellular level.

The researchers are looking closer at the effect of Valporic Acid, a chemical used in treatments for Bi-Polar disorder, migraine and epilepsy on the construction of these cells.

The researchers hope to reverse the effects of VPA by manipulating proteins that are abnormally regulated in some developmental disorders.

By modelling autism in tadpoles, the researchers will better understand the mechanisms of the disorder. “If you did it, you can reverse it,” James said.

The research could lead to the development of drugs to counteract the mis-wiring of these cells.

McGill University Associate Professor of Neurology and Neurosurgery Edward Ruthazer said in an interview with the Brown Herald:

“By applying the diverse tools for developmental analysis created in the Aizenman (lab) … we may now have the opportunity to investigate the mechanisms underlying (autism spectrum disorder) or schizophrenia at an unprecedented level of resolution.”

 

 

Top Stories and Breaking News

Researchers hope to revolutionize autism diagnosis through Autism & Beyond app

New York — A team of researchers from Duke are hoping to revolutionize how autism is diagnosed in young children through an iPhone app called ‘Autism & Beyond’. The researchers are working closely with Apple in hopes of improving how autism is diagnosed in children today. Due to the surge of the number of children […]

The damage of Chlorine Dioxide also peddled as Miracle Mineral Solution

For those of you that do not know there’s a very real threat to our autistic children in the world today. Naive parents and carers are being told that parasitic worms are the cause of autism in their children. They are being told that if they remove these worms with CD (Chlorine Dioxide) treatments the […]

Blogging mother, Temporary Tourist, shares her experiences of Disney’s Guest Assistance rule change

We’ve had mixed responses on Disney’s decision to change the Guest Assistance Card system. We reported Autism Hippie’s experiences on October 11. Disney implemented a change in their guest assistance cards for children and adults with special needs on October 9 after reports that people were flagrantly abusing the old system. Cards called Disability Access […]

News In Brief About News In Brief

These are short news articles that report quickly on breaking events or snapshots of news for quick coverage. They are not as in-depth but a synopsis.