The Autisms: Molecules to Model Systems

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The science of autism has seen tremendous breakthroughs in the past few decades. A multitude of relatively rare mutations have been identified to explain around 15 % of autism cases with many of these genetic causes systematically examined in animal models. This marriage of human genetics and basic neurobiology has led to major advances in our understanding of how these genetic mutations alter brain function and help to better understand the human disease. These scientific approaches are leading to the identification of potential therapeutic targets for autism that can be tested in the very same genetic models and hopefully translated into novel, rational therapies. The Autisms: Molecules to Model Systems provides a roadmap to many of these genetic causes of autism and clarifies what is known at the molecular, cellular, and circuit levels. Focusing on tractable genetic findings in human autism and painstakingly dissecting the underlying neurobiology, the book explains, is the key to understanding the pathophysiology of autism and ultimately to identifying novel treatments.