Autism

UC Davis Receives $15 Million Grant to Study the Effects of Maternal Infection on Risk for Psychiatric Illness in Offspring

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) has awarded a $15.7 million grant to the UC Davis Silvio O. Conte Center, one of only 15 Conte Centers nationwide.

Psychiatric illnesses and neurodevelopmental disorders, including schizophrenia, affect 15-20 percent of the population worldwide, yet current treatments are at best only partially effective. The UC Davis Conte Center was first established in 2016 through the Center for Neuroscience to determine how maternal infection increases risk for these disorders and to identify new targets for novel treatments.

Maternal infection may accelerate expression of autism genes

Maternal infection may accelerate expression of autism genes

This article originally appeared on the Spectrum site.

Exposure to infection in utero may speed up the expression of many genes linked to autism — and hasten changes in brain anatomy.

The results are in mice but hint at how infections during pregnancy may contribute to autism.

Researchers have ditched the autism-vaccine hypothesis. Here’s what they think actually causes it.

Of all the issues doctors have explored in children’s health, none has been more exhaustively researched than the question of whether vaccines are linked to autism. After hundreds and hundreds of studies in thousands of children, “We can say with almost as much certainty than anybody could ever say that vaccines don’t cause autism,” Mayo Clinic autism researcher Dr. Sunil Mehta told me.    

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Researchers Temporarily Turn off Brain Area to Better Understand Function

Capitalizing on experimental genetic techniques, researchers at the California National Primate Research Center, or CNPRC, at the University of California, Davis, have demonstrated that temporarily turning off an area of the brain changes patterns of activity across much of the remaining brain.

The research suggests that alterations in the functional connectivity of the brain in humans may be used to determine the sites of pathology in complex disorders such as schizophrenia and autism.