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Newborns' brains bear signs of adult illnesses

Disease-related genes associated with reduced volume in certain regions at birth

11:13pm, January 10, 2013

At birth, some infants are already saddled with brains that carry features of Alzheimer’s disease and schizophrenia. Newborns who carry certain versions of genes already show brain shrinkage reminiscent of that in adults with brain illnesses, a study of 272 newborn babies reveals.

The new results, published online January 2 in Cerebral Cortex, illuminate what happens to the brain in the earliest stages of life, says neuroscientist Jay Giedd of the National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda, Md., who was not involved in the study. “As we go through life, there are

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