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Spectrum: Autism Research News


Kelly Rae Chi

Freelance Writer, SFARI

Kelly Rae Chi is a freelance writer based in Cary, North Carolina.
June 2012

Rett protein in adult brain key for survival

by  /  21 June 2012

The gene missing or mutated in Rett syndrome, an autism spectrum disorder, is critical for the survival of adult mice, according to a study published 31 May in Human Molecular Genetics.

May 2011

Rett protein alters visual circuits in mice

by  /  23 May 2011

MeCP2, the protein that’s missing or mutated in Rett syndrome, is crucial for remodeling neural circuits in response to vision, according to a study published in April in Neuron.

December 2010

Jumping genes implicated in Rett syndrome

by  /  27 December 2010

The neurons of people with Rett syndrome contain an overabundance of retrotransposons — DNA sequences that copy and insert themselves into new spots throughout the genome — during early development, according to a study published 18 November in Nature.


Calming neurons may ease apnea in Rett syndrome

by  /  9 December 2010

A controversial new approach that quiets the activity of certain neurons in the brain alleviates breathing difficulties in a mouse model of Rett syndrome, according to a study published 4 October in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

November 2010

Stem cell assay reveals early development of Rett neurons

by  /  16 November 2010

Researchers have developed the first stem cell system that makes it possible to study the early development of neurons from people with Rett syndrome, a rare disorder on the autism spectrum.


For children with autism, iPads an attractive option

by  /  5 November 2010

Researchers are exploring the iPad and other touch-screen devices for their potential to help people with autism communicate more effectively. Until studies prove their efficacy, however, some experts hesitate to recommend their use.

October 2010

Parents share key traits of children with autism

by  /  14 October 2010

Parents and siblings of people with autism have abnormal eye movements and score higher on tests evaluating traits associated with the disorder.

August 2010

Studies explore amygdala problems in fragile X syndrome

by  /  31 August 2010

The amygdala, a brain region that regulates fear and anxiety, shows abnormal neuronal signaling in a mouse model of fragile X syndrome, according to two studies published this summer. These are the first to explore cellular defects in the region in fragile X.


Brain’s adaptability begins at single synapse

by  /  10 August 2010

Researchers have uncovered an important molecular piece of a learning mechanism that occurs at the junction between neurons. The findings, which may help understand how the brain is disrupted in disorders such as autism, appear in the 24 June issue of Neuron.


Spoken word

by  /  2 August 2010

Children with autism are known to have strange rhythms and pitch to their speech, and they speak less often or for shorter periods. Based on these patterns, a company promises to accurately identify children with the disorder.