ERIC Number: EJ827754
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Mar
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
Regulation of Cerebral Cortical Size and Neuron Number by Fibroblast Growth Factors: Implications for Autism
Vaccarino, Flora M.; Grigorenko, Elena L.; Smith, Karen Muller; Stevens, Hanna E.
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, v39 n3 p511-520 Mar 2009
Increased brain size is common in children with autism spectrum disorders. Here we propose that an increased number of cortical excitatory neurons may underlie the increased brain volume, minicolumn pathology and excessive network excitability, leading to sensory hyper-reactivity and seizures, which are often found in autism. We suggest that Fibroblast Growth Factors (FGF), a family of genes that regulate cortical size and connectivity, may be responsible for these developmental alterations. Studies in animal models suggest that mutations in FGF genes lead to altered cortical volume, excitatory cortical neuron number, minicolum pathology, hyperactivity and social deficits. Thus, many risk factors may converge upon FGF-regulated pathogenetic pathways, which alter excitatory/inhibitory balance and cortical modular architecture, and predispose to autism spectrum disorders.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A