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Dr Emily Osterweil and researchers at the Patrick Wild Centre for Research into Autism, Fragile X Syndrome and Intellectual Disability have used a genetic mouse model of Fragile X Syndrome, an inherited form of autism, to look at the changes in muscarinic M4 receptor pathway. They found that a paradoxical enhancement of M4 activity normalised activity and reduced seizures in these mice.
Bérengère Digard, a PhD student in CCBS, has been awarded the Barbara Northend Prize by the British Federation of Women Graduates Her research focuses on the sociocognitive and neurological effects of bilingualism in autistic and neurotypical adults. Bérengère wrote about her experience applying for the BFWG award in her team’s blog.
Dr Christos Gkogkas and colleagues in the Patrick Wild Centre have found that a commonly used diabetes drug, Metformin, could help people with a common inherited form of autism (fragile X syndrome).
On 13 July 2017, Dr Sue Fletcher-Watson (Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences) spoke to BBC Radio 5 Live about autism following an interview with David Mitchell (best selling author) about his autistic son. Sue, along with Tom Purser (Head of Campaigns at the National Autistic Society and parent to an autistic son) and parent callers, spoke about changing perceptions of autism.
Professor Peter Kind (Centre for Discovery Brain Sciences, Patrick Wild Centre, and Simon’s Initiative for the Developing Brain) delivered the 12th Edinburgh Neuroscience Public Christmas Lecture last night.
Dr Sue Fletcher-Watson (Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences), along with colleagues at the University of Oslo, has recently published an article in Psychiatry Research dissecting portrayals of autism on film and TV. They found that representations of autism on screen align unrealistically-perfectly with the diagnostic criteria, making portrayals of autism archetypal, but not representative. This may be contributing to narrow stereotypes about autism, which in turn is expected to impact on the day to day experiences of people on the autism spectrum.
Congratulations to Maggi Laurie, a PhD student in CCBS who has been awarded a prestigious Fellowship in the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST) at Westminster where she will help to develop evidence-based briefing for MPs on topics including autism practice, screentime and child development.
Sue Fletcher-Watson (Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences & the Patrick Wild Centre) has recently launched a new Scottish charity, called SuperTroop. They will be providing residential holidays for children and young people with learning disabilities.
The Patrick Wild Centre for Research into Autism, Fragile X Syndrome & Intellectual Disabilities has been awarded a donation of £20 million from the Simons Foundation to establish the ‘Simons Initiative for the Developing Brain’.