Autism Shares Brain Signature with Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder

February 8, 2018

(Scientific American) – Gene expression patterns in the brains of people with autism are similar to those of people who have schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, according to a large study of postmortem brain tissue. The findings appear today in Science. All three conditions show an activation of genes in star-shaped brain cells called astrocytes, and suppression of genes that function at synapses, the junctions between neurons. The autism brains also show a unique increase in the expression of genes specific to immune cells called microglia.

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