Autistic Kids Have Extra Brain Synapses
Children and adolescents with autism have a surplus of synapses in the brain, and this excess is because of a slowdown in a normal brain “pruning” process during development, according to a study by neuroscientists at Columbia Univ. Medical Center (CUMC). Because synapses are the points where neurons connect and communicate with each other, the excessive synapses may have profound effects on how the brain functions. The study was published in Neuron.
A drug that restores normal synaptic pruning can improve autistic-like behaviors in mice, the researchers found, even when the drug is given after the behaviors have appeared.
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