The search for mechanisms and treatments for Fragile X

Dr. Anu Goel and colleagues in Carlos Portera-Cailliau’s laboratory recently discovered that mice with a Fragile X mutation have remarkably similar visual processing deficits to Fragile X patients. Their studies of brain circuits in Fragile X mice revealed that impairments in brain inhibition are responsible for their altered visual processing. Remarkably, state-of-the-art tools that use light or chemical agents to increase brain inhibition rescued visual processing and learning problems in the Fragile X mice. These findings yielded important insights that may help the search for treatments for Fragile X and perhaps other forms of autism.