The Autisms: Molecules to Model Systems

ISBN : 9780199744312

Craig M. Powell; Lisa M. Monteggia
420 Pages
189 x 260 mm
Pub date
Nov 2012
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The science of autism has seen tremendous breakthroughs in the past few decades. A multitude of relatively rare mutations have been identified to explain around 15 % of autism cases with many of these genetic causes systematically examined in animal models. This marriage of human genetics and basic neurobiology has led to major advances in our understanding of how these genetic mutations alter brain function and help to better understand the human disease. These scientific approaches are leading to the identification of potential therapeutic targets for autism that can be tested in the very same genetic models and hopefully translated into novel, rational therapies. The Autisms: Molecules to Model Systems provides a roadmap to many of these genetic causes of autism and clarifies what is known at the molecular, cellular, and circuit levels. Focusing on tractable genetic findings in human autism and painstakingly dissecting the underlying neurobiology, the book explains, is the key to understanding the pathophysiology of autism and ultimately to identifying novel treatments.


1. Introduction
Craig M. Powell & Lisa M. Monteggia
2. Autism and Autism Spectrum Disorders: Clinical Overview
Lisa Joseph, Sarah Spence & Audrey
3. Neuroimaging in Autism Spectrum Disorders Human Imaging
Mikle South, John D. Herrington, Sarah J. Patterson
4. An overview of the genetics of autism spectrum disorders
Joseph D. Buxbaum
5. Rett syndrome: On Clinical and Genetic Features, and Experimental Models based on Mecp2 dysfunction
Gaston Calfa, Alan K. Percy and Lucas Pozzo-Miller
6. Mecp2 Knockout in mouse models of Rett syndrome
Megumi Adachi and Lisa M. Monteggia
7. Putting into perspective the use of the Fmr1 KO mouse as a model for autism spectrum disorder
Richard Paylor
8. Molecular functions of the mammalian fragile X mental retardation protein: Insights into mental retardation and synaptic plasticity
Claudia Bagni & Eric Klann
9. Tuberous Sclerosis and Autism
Dan Ehninger and Alcino J. Silva
10. PTEN and autism with macrocephaly
Craig M. Powell
11. SHANK gene family and autism
Craig M. Powell
12. Smith-Lemli-Opitz Syndrome and Role of Cholesterol in Autism
Geeta Sarphare, Ryan Lee, and Elaine Tierney
13. Angelman Syndrome
Edwin J. Weeber
14. Neuroligins and neurexins: Bridging the synaptic cleft in autism
Craig M. Powell & Antony A. Boucard
15. Alterations of the serotonin-melatonin pathway in autism spectrum disorders: Biological evidence and clinical consequences
Cecile Pagan, Richard Delorme, Jean-Marie Launay, Thomas Bourgeron
16. CNTNAP2 and autism spectrum disorders
Olga Penagarikano & Daniel H. Geschwind
17. Chromosome 15q11.2q13.3 Aneusomies and Autism Spectrum Disorders
David J. Wu and Carolyn Schanen
18. Oxytocin and vasopressin: Mechanisms for potential sex differences observed in ASD
C. Sue Carter & Suma Jacob
19. FOXP2: Linking language and autism
Genevieve Konopka

About the author: 

Craig M. Powell, M.D., Ph.D. is a Neurologist and Neuroscientist interested in the molecular, cellular, and circuit-level mechanisms underlying cognitive function and cognitive dysfunction in disorders such as autism and intellectual disability. Dr. Powell has been integrally involved in understanding brain abnormalities in genetic animal models of autism based on mutations in autism-associated genes such as SHANK3, neuroligins, neurexins, and PTEN. His work integrates multiple approaches to understanding how genetic mutations lead to altered neuronal function and altered circuit function to cause the behavioral symptoms of autism. His work has identified potential therapeutic targets for autism using such models. ; Lisa M. Monteggia, PhD is the Ginny and John Eulich Professor in Autism Spectrum Disorders, and Associate Professor of Psychiatry, at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. Dr. Monteggia's research interests focus on the molecular and cellular basis of neural plasticity as it pertains to psychiatric disorders. She utilizes molecular, cellular, behavioral, biochemical and electrophysiological approaches to elucidate how specific genes may contribute to psychiatric disorders in animal models, specifically focusing on better understanding Rett Syndrome/Autism and depression. Once these mechanisms are understood, treatments can be developed to target specific molecular pathways for therapeutic advances.

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