Today's main hypothesis about the cause of autism symptoms is that neurons receive too little inhibition or too much excitation, causing hyperexcitability. This excessive spiking interferes with normal brain function. UC Berkeley neuroscientists demonstrated that while inhibition does decrease in the brains of mice models, the changed balance between excitation and inhibition doesn't affect spiking. The altered balance seems to be a compensatory mechanism that stabilizes brain activity in response to the disorder.
- Simons Foundation, National Institutes of Health, Miller Institute for Basic Research, Ford Foundation