3D atlas of the mouse brain before and after birth

Many disorders are born in utero including Autism and many neurodevelopmental disorders. to understand hos they are generated and whether and how brain structures are impacted already in utero, it is instrumental to develop quantitative atlases of brain structures. IN this aim, we used the recently developed transparization (I disco) technique that enable to dissolve … Read more

IBEN hosts a satellite conference at FENS 2022

IBEN will give a satellite conference at the FENS 2022, an european congress of neurosciences. The conference, which take place on July 7 and 8 at RIVE Montparnasse, will focus on the Neuroarcheology of the brain disorders and GABA signals. It will be organized by Yehezkel Ben-Ari & Nick Spitzer and will include many renowed … Read more

Bumetanide to treat brain disorders: when the empire strikes back!

Our attempts to treat children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) with the NKCC1 chloride importer antagonist have met with some success with several hundreds of children treated successfully in several trial made in France, China, Sweden, Great Britain, Holland and Tunisia. Yet a large phase 3 (400 children in Europe, Brazil, Australia and US) failed. … Read more

The challenges of in-vivo GABA and glutamate measurements in the preterm neonatal brain

GABA and glutamate undergo developmental changes in their organization, and for GABA even its polarity (from Excitation to Inhibition). There are experimental indications that they are also impacted by in-utero insults and by alterations in labor and birth. Animal and human studies also indicate that preterm birth is associated with an increased incidence of developmental disorders … Read more

Cesarean Section delivery in mice leads to smaller brain volumes at birth

Birth is a complex and intricate physiological process involving several mechanisms that allow a swift adaptation of the newborn to extrauterine life. Indeed, during birth the brain undergoes profound changes to cope with oxygen deprivation and the squeezing of the head. However, some or all of these mechanisms and changes do not take place if … Read more

There is not a single Autism-specific gene, just brain genes !

For decades, we have been repeatedly informed as an undisputable fact that Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are “genetic”, with genetic mutations being responsible for 15 then 25% and probably all ASD. This more technical than conceptual approach has not led to a single treatment even at early stages, and no significant novel understanding of how … Read more

Use of machine learning to identify at birth babies at risk of developing Autism Spectrum Disorders

Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) are associated with socialization and communication problems as well as restricted interests and stereotypic behavior. The diagnosis is usually obtained around 3-5 years old, yet we know that early psycho-educative methods enable to attenuate the severity of ASDs in particular if they are utilized early on. Since ASDs are “born” in … Read more

The Complex effects of Anti-Epileptic Drugs and Neonatal Seizures

In my invited commentary in Epilepsia we discuss the original research by Kaila, Löscher and colleagues (Johne et al. 2021) that illustrates the effects and lack of effects of Anti-Epileptic Drugs (AEDs) on asphyxia-induced neonatal seizures, and we suggest a possible scenario explaining why this happens.  Using a new neonatal asphyxia model, the authors report … Read more

How does a Benzodiazepine produce a transient awakening of patients under severe long-lasting comatose state due to heavy brain lesions ?

Awakening, a temporary revival of patients who have been akinetic, apathic and with no reaction for years following a large brain damage, has been observed after administration of drugs, but the mechanisms underlying them remain unknown. In a recent study, Arnst et al. report spectacular effects of Zolpidem on a 29 years old patient after … Read more

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A new report contributes to the promising Bumetanide treatment for autism. Further studies should confirm this approach

The new publication by the team of Christopher Gillberg in Sweden extends previous positive observations and adds important information to the numerous previous trials on using Bumetanide to treat autistic children. Even though they performed an open-label trial of just six children (3-14 years old), it is important to note that all the participants had severe ASD (CARS score above 39) without comorbidities … Read more

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Of mice and men: how studying brain development helps developing treatments of autism

Basic science: In 1989 we discovered that adult and immature neurons have different electrical activity with notably much lower intracellular concentrations of chloride in the former than in the latter. High levels of chloride lead to a reduced brain inhibition and increased excitation, and are observed in immature neurons of all animal species and brain … Read more

6 clinical trials now confirm the efficacy of Bumetanide to treat Autism Spectrum Disorders

With three new trials published this year, there are now 6 clinical trials performed by 5 different groups that support the efficacy of Bumetanide to treat Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) symptoms.They are summarized here below:  In addition, 2 eye tracking and functional MRI trials confirm the Bumetanide-dependent amelioration of visual communication and brain imaging alterations that are in keeping with the suggested underlying … Read more

Bumetanide attenuates the severity of ASD symptomatology in Tuberous Sclerosis of Bourneville: an open study by Van Andel et al.

In this trial, the authors report that a 3 months open administration of the NKCC1 chloride importer antagonist Bumetanide (0.5-1mg, twice daily) attenuated Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) symptomatology in 11 out of 13 patients (8-21 years old). Bumetanide attenuated Irritable Behavior (ABC-I), Social interactions (SRS) and hyperactivity (ABC- hyperactivity subscale), increased the patients’ estimation of … Read more


Antibio-therapy and autism: hypothesis and intuition are not enough  We are living in a period with countless propositions of therapeutical solutions, in particular to treat Autism, that resemble more « fake news » and scientific pollution than actual possible treatments. It is important to remember the principles of well-established protocols on drug discovery, and to help parents navigate the unofficial announcements of possible future treatments.  A good hunch is not enough. A Nobel … Read more

Failed study of bumetanide in Autism: limitations of the Dutch trial and what does it means for bumetanide treatment

Bruining and colleagues reported, in a 3-month mono-centric trial in 92 verbal ASD children (7-15 years old) without severe mental disability, that bumetanide did not significantly attenuate the severity of autism. This trial is at odds with 5 earlier trials from 3 independent groups who reported significant ameliorations. Astonishingly, the same group reported earlier that … Read more

Changing software to understand and treat autism: the importance of studying maternity and birth

First published in Médecine & Sciences The data on autism are well known: the impact is strong, because -with an incidence of 1,4%- this disease affects communication, which an essential function at the heart of our modern societies. And yet, despite the successive “autism plans” and the sometimes huge sums invested (hundreds of millions of … Read more

Why is it so difficult for politicians to understand scientific research?

First published in french in Médecine et Sciences Research funding suffers from well-known but not understood by generations of politicians’ issues. We are still far from the 3% of GDP required to get back on the saddle and which are occasionally promised before one election or another. However, even those who complain that the rank … Read more

An excitatory GABAergic pathway allows the sodium to regulate our clock time

A new study, published in Nature by researchers from McGill University, shows that increased sodium concentration in the blood may influence the circadian rhythm of mice via an excitatory GABAergic pathway. Our circadian rhythm is controlled by the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), which coordinates physiological and behavioral changes to anticipate changes related to our 24-hour cycle. … Read more

Comment on the paper published by Lingli Zhang et al. in Translational Psychiatry

We are grateful to this group to have confirmed our earlier results published in 2012 and 2017 using exactly similar protocol and evaluation. This is the 3rd paper validating our approach that is now the basis for an FDA/EMA approved large worldwide phase 3 trials conducted with Servier. The current publication also provides some support … Read more

There is no such thing as “gay gene” but the abyssal poverty of genetomania is alive and well

For 40 years and the genetic revolution, it seems that everything is due to genetic mutations! There were the genes of intelligence, of crime and of course homosexuality. In a first draft, a few years ago, there were changes in the size of certain brain structures before we realized that the sample sizes made it … Read more

Foetal oestrogens and autism

Scientists have identified a link between exposure to high levels of oestrogen sex hormones in the womb and the likelihood of developing autism. This study, published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry, support the idea that increased prenatal sex steroid hormones are one of the potential causes of autism. It follows on from a first study … Read more

New paper: Fetal brain volume increases during parturition and birth in autism

Cloarec et al, Pyramidal neurons growth and increased hippocampal volume during labor and birth in autism, Science Advances, 23rd January 2019 Yehezkel Ben-Ari and Neurochlore team demonstrate for the first time that in a naive animal, cortical and neuronal volume are not impacted by labor and birth. In contrast, in an animal model of autism, … Read more

White paper on Autism Spectrum Disorder

This White Paper, written by renowned scientists, is aimed at all stakeholders, all societies, their government and their media, for a global awareness. It will widely disseminate valuable knowledge for a coherent and rational public action, of interest for the public health and also of interest for the improvement of the human condition of the … Read more

At birth neurons are bigger following Maternal Immune Activation

Amandine Fernandez, Camille Dumon, Damien Guimond, Roman Tyzio, Paolo Bonifazi, Natalia Lozovaya, Nail Burnashev, Diana C Ferrari, Yehezkel Ben-Ari; The GABA Developmental Shift Is Abolished by Maternal Immune Activation Already at Birth, Cerebral Cortex, novembre 2018 Article online Maternal Immune Activation (MIA) is due to an intrauterine infection that perturbs the immune system leading to the … Read more

When leptin and metabolism impact the actions of GABA on immature neurons

An interesting observation linking metabolism with the GABA developmental shift and developmental disorders. Studying the well characterized GABA developmental shift with excitatory actions of GABA on immature neurons and inhibitory ones in adults, J-L Gaiarsa, C Porcher and colleagues have tested the hypothesis that metabolism and a major hormone controlling it -leptin- impact the time … Read more

Chloride, homeopathy, scientism and autism

The spectrum of autistic syndromes is composed of very different syndromes, which often causes diagnostic problems and explains both our very partial understanding of the underlying mechanisms and the fact that there is currently no medication approved by the European and American authorities. This also explains why clueless mothers – and this is easily understandable … Read more

When animal welfare is better controlled than the health of the population

No offense to the aficionados of miracle solutions, but the discovery of new drugs requires experiments made on animal models; most often rodents or small mammals (cf this article for details).  There was a not too distant time when there was no control over the maintenance and life conditions of these animals with obvious abuses … Read more

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