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Protein Discovery Could Spur 'Gold Rush' for New Drugs

Identification of key brain proteins could aid treatment of conditions

(Newser) - Scientists are hailing a potential breakthrough in the treatment of 130 conditions following the identification of more than 1,400 crucial brain proteins. When faulty, these proteins have been found to contribute to conditions including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, autism, and learning disabilities, and their identification could accelerate the...

Study Yields More Clues About Autism

Scientists find genes needed for learning stuck in the off position

(Newser) - Scientists have found six new genes linked to autism, inching closer to a fuller understanding of the disorder and how to treat it, the AP reports. The genes in question are necessary for learning but are essentially stuck in the "off" position. The finding lends credence to the philosophy...

Missing Protein May Explain 'Rain Man'

Brain deficiency could play role in creating autistic savants

(Newser) - The absence of a certain brain protein may play a role in the development of “autistic savants”—patients who exhibit the socio-cognitive impairments of autism but possess exceptional aptitude in highly specific areas, Live Science reports. Researchers found mice lacking the Shank1 protein, used for building synapses, learned...

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