Scientists Discover a New Autism Marker In Children

Scientists from Northwestern Medicine conducted a study that revealed the presence of a crucial protein in the brain that comes from overactive brain cells. The study also showed low protein in children who have autism. 

The protein could treat epilepsy

 The protein can pronounce autism and is in the cerebrospinal fluid. The scientists also revealed that the protein could treat epilepsy in people with autism. Previous studies have demonstrated that an estimated number of children are affected by the disorder and calculated that 30% to 50% of children with the condition have epilepsy. 

The scientists report that when the protein mutates, it causes autism which comes with epilepsy and affects one in fifty-eight children residing in the U.S. The disorder is also 90% genetic is created by the brain cells that become overactive, Due to the absence of CNTNAP2, the protein’s nickname. Children affected with the disorder possess hyperactive brain cells that cause seizures. 

The scientists investigated children with the disorder and the connection of the cerebrospinal fluid with autism and epilepsy. The study authors also investigated the presence of the fluid from individuals with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. The study author aimed to identify the biomarker and assist in formulating treatment and diagnosing the disorder. 

Published in the December version of Neuron, the study is among the first to establish the connection between the marker and the disorder. The revelation that the role of CNTNAP2 in the brain of individuals with autism may create various treatments. 

Scientists could create the protein in the lab

One of the leading authors, Peter Penzes, stated that scientists could create it in the laboratory and inject it into the individual’s spinal fluid which transports it to the brain. The scientists are working on a method to utilize this preclinical study. 

The scientists revealed that the spinal cord is the proxy for the fluid level in the brain. The study also reported that the hyperactive brain cells produce high levels of CNTNAP2, which is transmitted to the brain cells to comfort them. 

The protein sips into the cerebrospinal fluid allowing scientists to measure it, giving them an idea of how much is created.

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