Authors: Martha Powell, Future Science Group
Research presented at SfN Neuroscience 2018 (3–7 November, San Diego, CA, USA) has investigated excessive stress during early childhood or fetal development and the long-term consequences this can have on the brain – from affecting an individual’s adulthood response to stress to increasing the likelihood of brain disorders.
The latest findings uncover more about the mechanisms by which stress disrupts brain development in addition to suggesting new strategies to combat the effects of stress, such as inhibiting stress hormone production or ‘resetting’ immune cell populations.
Targeting microglia has positive effects in mouse model of autism
It has been reported that the microglia could be mediating the increased risk of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) linked with maternal infection during pregnancy. Animal research presented at SfN Neuroscience  has assessed the role of microglia in ASD-like symptoms following maternal infection, revealing that they could be a therapeutic target.