Unraveling mysteries of autism
Much is known about autism spectrum disorders (ASD), the neurological conditions that include autism and Asperger's syndrome. Scientists know they tend to be characterized by unique repetitive behaviors, communication problems and social isolation. It's also known ASD affects one in every 150 births in the U.S. and are four times more likelely to affect boys than girls. And they are typically diagnosed in children around the age of three.
And while it is also known that genes and environmental factors are risk factors, it is unknown exactly how they lead to the brain dysfunction responsible for the disorders' unique symptoms.
BIDMC neuroscientist Lindsay Oberman, PhD, is examining the mechanisms of brain plasticity to learn if and how the brain's neurocircuitry differs in ASD patients. The work is part of a grant from the Harvard Catalyst K12 Medical Investigator Research Training (MeRIT) program,
To learn more about Oberman's research, click here. To hear her discuss the work, click here.