The lack of effective treatments for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and congenital hydrocephalus (CH) reflects the limited understanding of the biology underlying these common neurodevelopmental disorders. Although ASD and CH have been extensively studied as independent entities, recent human genomic and preclinical animal studies have uncovered shared molecular pathophysiology. Here, we review and discuss phenotypic, genomic, and molecular similarities between ASD and CH, and identify the PTEN-PI3K-mTOR (phosphatase and tensin homolog-phosphoinositide 3-kinase-mammalian target of rapamycin) pathway as a common underlying mechanism that holds diagnostic, prognostic, and therapeutic promise for individuals with ASD and CH.
Keywords: mTOR; macrocephaly; neurodevelopmental disorders; rapamycin; ventriculomegaly.
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