Do Changes in Brain Metabolism Play a Role in Autism? Prestigious grant to help researchers find out

Brain and Mind Research Institute
Dr. Lacoste
“This is the first attempt to investigate the role of brain metabolism in the 16p11.2 deletion autism syndrome, and represents a paradigm shift for the field,” says Dr. Lacoste.

Brain metabolism describes how energy is delivered to and used by the brain – an organ that requires an enormous amount of energy. Dr. Lacoste’s team suspects that one of the most common genetic mutations found in autism spectrum disorder, the 16p11.2 deletion, also triggers a major change in brain metabolism. His team will use advanced technologies to measure brain metabolism in mice with 16p11.2 deletions and investigate the effect of this deletion on their brain cells. The team will also test whether giving these mice treatments to improve their brain metabolism will also improve core symptoms of autism spectrum disorder.