By manipulating the timing of disease-causing mutations in the brains of developing mice, Brown University researchers have found that early genetic deletions in the thalamus may play an important role in course and severity of the developmental disease tuberous sclerosis complex. Findings appear in the journal Neuron.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Doctors often diagnose tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) based on the abnormal growths the genetic disease causes in organs around the body. Those overt anatomical structures, however, belie the microscopic and mysterious neurological differences behind the disease’s troublesome behavioral symptoms: autism, intellectual disabilities, and seizures. In a new study in mice, Brown University researchers highlight a role for a brain region called the thalamus and show that the timing of gene mutation during thalamus development makes a huge difference in the severity of the disease. (more…)