Fragile X Symptoms
Researchers have identified a new compound, CTEP (an mGlu5 inhibitor), that may reverse symptoms of Fragile X syndrome. Using a mouse model of the syndrome, researchers administered CTEP after the brains of the mice had matured. They report a reduction in a wide range of symptoms, including learning and memory deficits and auditory hypersensitivity, in treated mice. Visit Cell Press online.
Get Physical with AD
Daily physical activity may reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease (AD), even in the very old. Researchers asked 716 older Americans (average age 82) without dementia to wear an activity-monitoring device continuously for 10 days. At a 3.5-year follow up, 71 participants had developed AD. Those in the bottom 10% of activity level were more than twice as likely to develop AD as those in the top 10% daily activity level. Visit Neurology online.
PCBs and Autism
Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), found in many consumer products such as electronics and plastics, may disrupt the normal patterns of neuronal connections in the brain and increase the risk of autism spectrum disorders. According to researchers, PCB exposure leads to an overabundance of dendrites and disrupts brain neuronal connection patterns. Researchers studied dendrite growth in rat pups born to and nursed by PCB-exposed mothers; another study analyzed how PCBs affect rat neurons at prenatal development. Both studies showed an overproduction of dendrites and aberrant brain architecture in brains exposed to PCBs.