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Spectrum: Autism Research News

News Archive

November 2010

Large postmortem brain study traces spine shapes

by  /  16 November 2010

The brains of people with autism have abnormally dense and stubby dendritic spines, the neuronal projections that receive electrical signals, according to data presented Monday at the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in San Diego.

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Video: Drosophila model of fragile X syndrome bears fruit

by  /  16 November 2010

The fruit fly is a good model for some of the cognitive defects in fragile X syndrome — but researchers sometimes find themselves having to defend their choice.

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Autism brains characterized by fewer excitatory neurons

by  /  16 November 2010

People with autism have structural differences in the temporal cortex — a brain region involved in sound and language processing — compared with controls, according to a postmortem study presented Monday at the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in San Diego.

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Researchers make ‘normal’ neurons in a dish

by  /  16 November 2010

A new model system allows scientists to watch human neurons develop outside of the brain, researchers reported Sunday at the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in San Diego.

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Video: Of mice and men

by  /  16 November 2010

If you give most mice a choice between sniffing a new playmate and a new object, most will choose the new playmate every time. But not BTBR or SHANK3 mutant mice, which spend less time engaging in social interactions with other mice. Does that mean these mice have autism?

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Brain ‘transcriptome’ reveals gene networks for autism

by  /  16 November 2010

Scientists have pinpointed two major gene networks relevant to autism by analyzing gene expression in brain tissue from individuals with the disorder. Researchers presented the data Sunday at the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in San Diego.

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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.

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Decoding the exome points to new autism genes

by  /  16 November 2010

Sequencing the exomes — regions of the genome that code for proteins — of 18 individuals with autism has revealed new candidate genes for the disorder, researchers reported Sunday at the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in San Diego.

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Rett gene needed to stabilize synaptic strength

by  /  16 November 2010

Blocking the expression of the MeCP2 gene decreases the number of synapses, the junctions between neurons. It also prevents synapses from scaling up their activity to make up for the loss, according to unpublished data shown yesterday at the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in San Diego.

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Molecular mechanisms: Angelman gene linked to synapse formation

by  /  16 November 2010

UBE3A, a protein mutated in Angelman syndrome and autism, regulates communication between neurons in the brain, according to a study published 29 October in Cell.

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