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Protein found in brain cells may be key to autism

Boule de feu

Senior Member
Ottawa, Canada
We are far from the term "refrigerator mothers" or "psychodynamic conflicts between the mother and child" as it used to be implied in the earlier years. pffff!
Can you imagine how these poor mothers may have felt?


Senior Member
I can relate to missing a few SHANK3s ... ; )

Here's a good explanation of Shank3 ... http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/gene/SHANK3

What is the normal function of the SHANK3 gene?

The SHANK3 gene provides instructions for making a protein that is found in many of the body's tissues but is most abundant in the brain. The SHANK3 protein plays a role in the functioning of synapses, which are the connections between nerve cells (neurons) where cell-to-cell communication occurs. Within synapses, the SHANK3 protein acts as a scaffold that connects neurons, ensuring that the signals sent by one neuron are received by another.

The SHANK3 protein is also involved in the formation and maturation of dendritic spines. Dendrites are specialized extensions from neurons that are essential for the transmission of nerve impulses. Dendritic spines are small outgrowths from dendrites that further help transmit nerve impulses and increase communication between neurons.

It's been proven that gluten damages purkinje cells and many (most ? ) autistic kids are intolerant to gluten. Gluten damage to purkinje cells is the cause of gluten ataxia. So how does this relate ?