Mutations in genes associated with neurodevelopmental disorders, such as autism spectrum disorders, caused significant sleep disorders in the flies, according to a new study by scientists at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine.Survey results published on Wednesday Science AdvancesProvides further evidence that sleep is associated with early neurodevelopmental processes and may lead to future treatment of the patient.
Sleep disorders are a commonly reported symptom of all neurodevelopmental disorders, including autism, but according to assistant professor and senior author Matthew Kaiser, MD, “secondary” of other cognitive or behavioral problems. It is often treated clinically as a “effect”. Dean of Psychiatry and Neuroscience at the University of Pennsylvania, who led the study with Natalie Gong and Leela Chakravarti Dilly (both MD / Ph.D). student.
“Our paper shows that sleep disorders are not occurring due to these other problems, but rather, this gene acts in different brain circuits at different times during development, It causes each of these symptoms independently, “Kaiser said. “That is, we speculate that genetic constellations and signaling pathways that lead to disorders such as autism and depression can also lead to sleep disorders in humans.”
To identify the correlation between sleep and neurodevelopmental development, Kaiser and his team worked by individually “knocking down” each of the 218 genes that are strongly associated with the risk of human neurodevelopmental disorders. Genetically engineered Drosophila or fruit fly. They then observed how flies (a very powerful model of biomedical research) react.
After observing the behavioral patterns of flies, they found that knocking down the gene imitation SWItch / SNF (ISWI) prevented the fruit flies from sleeping almost completely. Drosophila ISWI is homologous to the human SMARCA1 and SMARCA5 genes associated with a variety of neurodevelopmental disorders. In addition to lack of sleep, researchers have found that knocking down ISWI also causes memory and social dysfunction. Surprisingly, the ISWI gene was found to act on different developmental times in different cells of the fly’s brain, affecting each of these behaviors independently.
Importantly, sleep disorders appear to arise directly from dysfunction of certain genes, but previous studies suggest that treatments such as cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia are still likely to be effective. Is suggested.
“Even if problems like sleep disorders and insomnia result from really early problems in the wiring of the brain, there is good reason to believe that existing treatments can be used,” Kaiser said.
The findings support the idea that treating sleep disorders in children with neurodevelopmental disorders may improve other symptoms. Future work will explore the possibility of using sleep as a modifiable risk factor to reduce the severity of neurodevelopmental disorders.
“Now that sleep disorders have been found to be a major feature of the early developmental origins of neurodevelopmental disorders, we can begin the question. Does improving sleep also improve memory and social function? “Kaiser said.
Sleep Disorders: Patients often underestimate their total sleep time
NN Gong et al. , “Chromatin remodeler ISWI acts to regulate adult sleep during Drosophila development.” Science Advances (2021). Advances.sciencemag.org/lookup… .1126 / sciadv.abe2597
Courtesy of Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania
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High-risk genes for neurodevelopmental disorders associated with fly sleep disorders
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