Cognition and lobar morphology in full mutation boys with fragile X syndrome.
ABSTRACT The aims of the present study are twofold: (1) to examine cortical morphology (CM) associated with alterations in cognition in fragile X syndrome (FXS); (2) to characterize the CM profile of FXS versus FXS with an autism diagnosis (FXS+Aut) as a preliminary attempt to further elucidate the behavioral distinctions between the two sub-groups. We used anatomical magnetic resonance imaging surface-based morphometry in 21 male children (FXS N=11 and age [2.27-13.3] matched controls [C] N=10). We found (1) increased whole hemispheric and lobar cortical volume, cortical thickness and cortical complexity bilaterally, yet insignificant changes in hemispheric surface area and gyrification index in FXS compared to C; (2) linear regression analyses revealed significant negative correlations between CM and cognition; (3) significant CM differences between FXS and FXS+Aut associated with their distinctive behavioral phenotypes. These findings are critical in understanding the neuropathophysiology of one of the most common intellectual deficiency syndromes associated with altered cognition as they provide human in vivo information about genetic control of CM and cognition.
Article: Plasticity and mTOR: towards restoration of impaired synaptic plasticity in mTOR-related neurogenetic disorders.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: To review the recent literature on the clinical features, genetic mutations, neurobiology associated with dysregulation of mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin), and clinical trials for tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC), neurofibromatosis-1 (NF1) and fragile X syndrome (FXS), and phosphatase and tensin homolog hamartoma syndromes (PTHS), which are neurogenetic disorders associated with abnormalities in synaptic plasticity and mTOR signaling. Pubmed and Clinicaltrials.gov were searched using specific search strategies. Although traditionally thought of as irreversible disorders, significant scientific progress has been made in both humans and preclinical models to understand how pathologic features of these neurogenetic disorders can be reduced or reversed. This paper revealed significant similarities among the conditions. Not only do they share features of impaired synaptic plasticity and dysregulation of mTOR, but they also share clinical features--autism, intellectual disability, cutaneous lesions, and tumors. Although scientific advances towards discovery of effective treatment in some disorders have outpaced others, progress in understanding the signaling pathways that connect the entire group indicates that the lesser known disorders will become treatable as well.Neural Plasticity 01/2012; 2012:486402. · 2.00 Impact Factor
Article: Lighting a path: genetic studies pinpoint neurodevelopmental mechanisms in autism and related disorders.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: In this review, we outline critical molecular processes that have been implicated by discovery of genetic mutations in autism. These mechanisms need to be mapped onto the neurodevelopment step(s) gone awry that may be associated with cause in autism. Molecular mechanisms include: (i) regulation of gene expression; (ii) pre-mRNA splicing; (iii) protein localization, translation, and turnover; (iv) synaptic transmission; (v) cell signaling; (vi) the functions of cytoskeletal and scaffolding proteins; and (vii) the function of neuronal cell adhesion molecules. While the molecular mechanisms appear broad, they may converge on only one of a few steps during neurodevelopment that perturbs the structure, function, and/or plasticity of neuronal circuitry. While there are many genetic mutations involved, novel treatments may need to target only one of few developmental mechanisms.Dialogues in clinical neuroscience. 09/2012; 14(3):239-52.
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ABSTRACT: Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is the most frequent form of inherited intellectual disability and is also linked to other neurologic and psychiatric disorders. FXS is caused by a triplet expansion that inhibits expression of the FMR1 gene; the gene product, FMRP, regulates mRNA metabolism in the brain and thus controls the expression of key molecules involved in receptor signaling and spine morphology. While there is no definitive cure for FXS, the understanding of FMRP function has paved the way for rational treatment designs that could potentially reverse many of the neurobiological changes observed in FXS. Additionally, behavioral, pharmacological, and cognitive interventions can raise the quality of life for both patients and their families.The Journal of clinical investigation 12/2012; 122(12):4314-22. · 15.39 Impact Factor