Yellow Pages |   News Updates |   Events Calendar |   Movie Times | Recycling  |   Document Shredding
Rocklin & Roseville Today Events
Travel, Business and Entertainment Marketing
HOME

Striking New Finding in Autism Research




Amygdala Neurons Increase as Children Become Adults - Except in Autism

(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) - In a striking new finding, researchers at the UC Davis MIND Institute found that typically-developing children gain more neurons in a region of the brain that governs social and emotional behavior, the amygdala, as they become adults. This phenomenon does not happen in people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Instead, children with ASD have too many neurons early on and then appear to lose those neurons as they become adults. The findings were published today in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

The amygdala is a small almond-shaped group of 13 regions (nuclei) that work as a danger detector in the brain to regulate anxiety and social interactions. Amygdala dysfunction has been linked to many psychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders, including ASD, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and depression.

"The amygdala is a unique brain structure in that it grows dramatically during adolescence, longer than other brain regions, as we become more socially and emotionally mature," said Cynthia Schumann, associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the UC Davis MIND Institute and senior author of the paper. "Any deviation from this normal path of development can profoundly influence human behavior."

To understand what cellular factors underlie amygdala development, the team studied 52 postmortem human brains, both neurotypical and ASD, ranging from 2 to 48 years of age.

"We were surprised to find that the number of neurons in one of the amygdala regions increased by more than 30% from childhood to adulthood in typically-developing individuals," said Schumann.
The picture was quite different in people with ASD. There were more neurons in young children with ASD, but as they got older, those numbers went down.

"We don't know if having too many amygdala neurons early in development in ASD is related to the apparent loss later on," said Schumann. "It's possible that having too many neurons early on could contribute to anxiety and challenges with social interactions. However, with time, that constant activity could wear on the system and lead to neuron loss."

Schumann and her team believe that if they can explain how the cells are changing throughout adolescence in the amygdala, it might be possible to intervene and treat symptoms such as anxiety that develop in people with autism and other neurodevelopmental and psychiatric disorders.

Other authors included Thomas A. Avino, Nicole Barger, Martha V. Vargas, Erin L. Carlson, David G. Amaral and Melissa D. Bauman.

Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Institute of Mental Health of the National Institutes of Health (R01MH097236).





Placer County News Headlines

William Jessup University Announces Largest Graduating ClassROCKLIN, CA., - William Jessup University, the first WASC accredited private, four-year residential Christian university in the greater Sacramento region will celebrate its 77th annual

Sonoma County Outdoor Recreation Month in May SONOMA COUNTY, CALIFORNIA - Celebrate one of California's most diverse natural destinations as Sonoma County announces its inaugural Outdoor Recreation Month in May

Monophonics Sure is Funky at TerrapinSan Rafael,CA- As the mercury pushed into the 70's this past Friday, music fans began slowly dancing their way toward Terrapin Crossroads in San Rafael.

Storms Bring Good News for Water SupplyAUBURN, Calif. - Despite a dry start to 2018, storms in late March and early April have produced above-average precipitation in the watersheds that source Placer County Water Agency's

PCF Awards $18,000 in Grants to Promote Civil Discourse(Auburn, Calif.) - Open dialogue and communication are key elements in maintaining a healthy, connected community. To encourage debate, Placer Community Foundation

Dog Abandoned in Roseville under Inhumane CircumstancesRoseville, Calif. - A dog was found abandoned in a corner of the Atlantic Street Pet Emergency Center parking lot under terribly inhumane circumstances

Sun City Roseville Harmonicoots 2018 JamboreeRoseville, CA- This year, the Harmonicoots will honor all women harmonica players throughout the world at their Jamboree-scheduled for Thursday, May 8, 2018

Roseville Gas Prices Hold Steady Past Week Roseville, CA,- Roseville gas prices were relatively flat this past week, but remain at levels pushing near 2014 levels at some locations

Successful Transitions for Young Adults with Neurodevelopmental DisordersSacramento, CA- For many people with disabilities, the excitement of life after high school is accompanied by challenges with finding and receiving the services and supports

Passport Weekend Spectacular Fun in Fair PlayFair Play, CA- California is always full of surprise. This weekend marked our return to El Dorado Wines Passport Weekend.

Growing Weed in Placer County? Rules and ComplianceAuburn, CA - With Placer County's cannabis ordinance now in effect for over a year, county staff will host three drop-in meetings in May to answer questions about rules for cannabis cultivation

2018 Volkswagen SportWagen provides versatilityRoseville, CA,- Versatility is the 2018 Volkswagen SportWagen's main calling card, yet it has other enviable qualities that make it a good choice for car buyers.


NEWS: In Case You Missed It