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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Experimental data from mice suggest that term cesarean sections do not affect brain maturation

In mammals, birth is one of the most biologically complex processes for both the woman and the fetus. Indeed, a complex hormonal network is set up to allow delivery, while the fetus must, at birth, quickly adjust its metabolic, hormonal, pulmonary, cardiovascular, immunological, and microbiotic functions to allow its survival. The conditions under which this … Read more

Fake news: earthworms can replace animal testing on mammals

We live in a great world! Our goal is to simplify everything, to quickly diagnose diseases with genetics and big data, and now, we don’t even need to go through preclinical studies on mammals. These wonderful worms with a thousand cells, a super simple nervous system compared to the trillions of connections in the human … Read more

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