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American Friends of Tel Aviv University: Are Schizophrenia and Autism Close Relations?

American Friends of Tel Aviv University: Are Schizophrenia and Autism Close Relations? | Mom Psych | Scoop.it

New research by Dr. Mark Weiser of Tel Aviv University's Sackler Faculty of Medicine and the Sheba Medical Center has revealed that Autism Spectrum Disorder appears share a root cause with other mental illnesses, including schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

 

Studying extensive databases in Israel and Sweden, the researchers discovered that the two illnesses had a genetic link, representing a heightened risk within families. They found that people who have a schizophrenic sibling are 12 times more likely to have autism than those with no schizophrenia in the family. The presence of bipolar disorder in a sibling showed a similar pattern of association, but to a lesser degree.

 

A scientific leap forward, this study sheds new light on the genetics of these disorders. The results will help scientists better understand the genetics of mental illness, says Dr. Weiser, and may prove to be a fruitful direction for future research. The findings have been published in the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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Genes for learning, remembering and forgetting

Genes for learning, remembering and forgetting | Mom Psych | Scoop.it
Certain genes and proteins that promote growth and development of embryos also play a surprising role in sending chemical signals that help adults learn, remember, forget and perhaps become addicted, biologists have discovered.
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The Adolescent Brain | Conversation | Edge

The Adolescent Brain | Conversation | Edge | Mom Psych | Scoop.it

Sarah-Jayne Blakemore

"The idea that the brain is somehow fixed in early childhood, which was an idea that was very strongly believed up until fairly recently, is completely wrong. There's no evidence that the brain is somehow set and can't change after early childhood. In fact, it goes through this very large development throughout adolescence and right into the 20s and 30s, and even after that it's plastic forever, the plasticity is a baseline state, no matter how old you are. That has implications for things like intervention programs and educational programs for teenagers."

 

Sarah-Jayne Blakemore is a leading social neuroscientist of adolescent development. She has reawakened research interest into the puberty period by focusing on social cognition and its neural underpinnings.

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