Stem Cell Treatments for Autism are currently available at SIRM
About a third to a half of individuals with autism do not develop enough natural speech to meet their daily communication needs. Differences in communication may be present from the first year of life, and may include delayed onset of babbling, unusual gestures, diminished responsiveness, and vocal patterns that are not synchronized with the caregiver. In the second and third years, autistic children have less frequent and less diverse babbling, consonants, words, and word combinations; their gestures are less often integrated with words. Autistic children are less likely to make requests or share experiences, and are more likely to simply repeat others' words (echolalia) or reverse pronouns. Joint attention seems to be necessary for functional speech, and deficits in joint attention seem to distinguish infants with ASD. for example, they may look at a pointing hand instead of the pointed-at object, and they consistently fail to point at objects in order to comment on or share an experience. Autistic children may have difficulty with imaginative play and with developing symbols into language.
Forms of repetitive or restricted behavior (RBS-R):
- Stereotypy is repetitive movement, such as hand flapping, making sounds, head rolling, or body rocking.
- Compulsive behavior is intended and appears to follow rules, such as arranging objects in stacks or lines.
- Sameness is resistance to change; for example, insisting that the furniture not be moved or refusing to be interrupted.
- Ritualistic behavior involves an unvarying pattern of daily activities, such as an unchanging menu or a dressing ritual. This is closely associated with sameness and an independent validation has suggested combining the two factors.
- Restricted behavior is limited in focus, interest, or activity, such as preoccupation with a single television program, toy, or game.
- Self-injury includes movements that injure or can injure the person, such as eye poking, skin picking, hand biting, and head banging. A 2007 study reported that self-injury at some point affected about 30% of children with ASD.
No single repetitive or self-injurious behavior seems to be specific to autism, but only autism appears to have an elevated pattern of occurrence and severity of these behaviors.
Autism treatment studies and stem cell protocols:
Related Articles Chromosome conformation elucidates regulatory relationships in developing human brain. Nature. 2016 10 27;538(7626):523-527 Authors: Won H, de la Torre-Ubieta L, Stein JL, Parikshak NN, Huang J, Opland CK, Gandal MJ, Sutton GJ, Hormozdiari F, Lu D, Lee C, Eskin E, Voineagu I, Ernst J, Geschwind DH Abstract Three-dimensional physical interactions within chromosomes dynamically regulate gene expression in a tissue-specific manner. However, the 3D organization of chromosomes during human brain development and its role in regulating gene networks dysregulated in neurodevelopmental disorders, such as autism or schizophrenia, are unknown. Here we generate high-resolution 3D maps of chromatin contacts during human corticogenesis, permitting large-scale annotation of previously uncharacterized regulatory relationships relevant to the evolution of human cognition and disease. Our analyses identify hundreds of genes that physically interact with enhancers gained on the human lineage, many of which are under purifying selection and associated with human cognitive function. We integrate chromatin contacts with non-coding variants identified in schizophrenia genome-wide association studies (GWAS), highlighting multiple candidate schizophrenia risk genes and pathways, including transcription factors involved in neurogenesis, and cholinergic signalling molecules, several of which are supported by independent expression quantitative trait loci and gene expression analyses. Genome editing in human neural progenitors suggests that one of these distal schizophrenia GWAS loci regulates FOXG1 expression, supporting its potential role as a schizophrenia risk gene. This work provides a framework for understanding the effect of non-coding regulatory elements on human brain development and the evolution of cognition, and highlights novel mechanisms underlying neuropsychiatric disorders. PMID: 27760116 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]Read more...
CRISPR/Cas9-mediated heterozygous knockout of the autism gene CHD8 and characterization of its transcriptional networks in cerebral organoids derived from iPS cells.
Related Articles CRISPR/Cas9-mediated heterozygous knockout of the autism gene CHD8 and characterization of its transcriptional networks in cerebral organoids derived from iPS cells. Mol Autism. 2017;8:11 Authors: Wang P, Mokhtari R, Pedrosa E, Kirschenbaum M, Bayrak C, Zheng D, Lachman HM Abstract BACKGROUND: CHD8 (chromodomain helicase DNA-binding protein 8), which codes for a member of the CHD family of ATP-dependent chromatin-remodeling factors, is one of the most commonly mutated genes in autism spectrum disorders (ASD) identified in exome-sequencing studies. Loss of function mutations in the gene have also been found in schizophrenia (SZ) and intellectual disabilities and influence cancer cell proliferation. We previously reported an RNA-seq analysis carried out on neural progenitor cells (NPCs) and monolayer neurons derived from induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells that were heterozygous for CHD8 knockout (KO) alleles generated using CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing. A significant number of ASD and SZ candidate genes were among those that were differentially expressed in a comparison of heterozygous KO lines (CHD8(+/-)) vs isogenic controls (CHD8(+/-)), including the SZ and bipolar disorder (BD) candidate gene TCF4, which was markedly upregulated in CHD8(+/-) neuronal cells. METHODS: In the current study, RNA-seq was carried out on CHD8(+/-) and isogenic control (CHD8(+/+)) cerebral organoids, which are 3-dimensional structures derived from iPS cells that model the developing human telencephalon. RESULTS: TCF4 expression was, again, significantly upregulated. Pathway analysis carried out on differentially expressed genes (DEGs) revealed an enrichment of genes involved in neurogenesis, neuronal differentiation, forebrain development, Wnt/β-catenin signaling, and axonal guidance, similar to our previous study on NPCs and monolayer neurons. There was also significant overlap in our CHD8(+/-) DEGs with those found in a transcriptome analysis carried out by another group using cerebral organoids derived from a family with idiopathic ASD. Remarkably, the top DEG in our respective studies was the non-coding RNA DLX6-AS1, which was markedly upregulated in both studies; DLX6-AS1 regulates the expression of members of the DLX (distal-less homeobox) gene family. DLX1 was also upregulated in both studies. DLX genes code for transcription factors that play a key role in GABAergic interneuron differentiation. Significant overlap was also found in a transcriptome study carried out by another group using iPS cell-derived neurons from patients with BD, a condition characterized by dysregulated WNT/β-catenin signaling in a subgroup of affected individuals. CONCLUSIONS: Overall, the findings show that distinct ASD, SZ, and BD candidate genes converge on common molecular targets-an important consideration for developing novel therapeutics in genetically heterogeneous complex traits. PMID: 28321286 [PubMed - in process]Read more...