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Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC)
Autism Research Database
Office of Autism Research Coordination (OARC)
 
Project Element Element Description

Project Title

Project Title

Rebuilding Inhibition in the Autistic Brain

Principal Investigator

Principal Investigator

Paradis, Suzanne

Description

Description

The human brain contains a massive network of neurons that communicate with one another to control fundamental cognitive processes such as learning, speech, and memory. Neurons talk to one another through synapses: specialized sites of cell-to-cell contact. Synapses come in two flavors: excitatory, which promotes information propagation through networks, and inhibitory, which prevents it. The billions of neurons in the human brain form trillions of synapses, ensuring proper information flow in the brain. One theory to explain the cause of autism spectrum disorders ASD) posits that communication between neurons in networks breaks down due to a disruption in the proper balance of excitatory and inhibitory synapses such that there is too much excitation. This could also explain why many individuals with ASD also experience seizures, which are caused by runaway excitation in the brain. Our laboratory has discovered that the novel protein Sema4D causes new inhibitory synapses to form very rapidly, within a few hours of exposure to Sema4D. Our proposal aims to test the hypothesis that Sema4D, or molecules like it, might restore the balance of excitation and inhibition in brain and therefore be a useful therapeutic for individuals with ASD.

Funder

Funder

Brain & Behavior Research Foundation

Fiscal Year Funding

Fiscal Year Funding

24840

Current Award Period

Current Award Period

2015-2017

Strategic Plan Question

Strategic Plan Question

Question 4: Which Treatments And Interventions Will Help?

Strategic Plan Objective

Strategic Plan Objective

Green dot: Objective has greater than or equal to the recommended funding. 4SB. Standardize and validate at least 20 model systems (e.g., cellular and/or animal) that replicate features of ASD and will allow identification of specific molecular targets or neural circuits amenable to existing or new interventions by 2012. IACC Recommended Budget: $75,000,000 over 5 years.

Project Link

Project Link

No link available.

Institution

Institution

Brandeis University

State/Country

State/Country

Massachusetts

Project Number

Project Number

Federal or Private?

Federal or Private?

Private

Received ARRA Funding?

Received ARRA Funding?

No

History/Related Projects

History/Related Projects

Rebuilding Inhibition in the Autistic Brain | 0 | 2014 |

 
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