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Spectrum: Autism Research News

News Archive

October 2010

Cancer protein directs synapse formation, study shows

by  /  21 October 2010

A tumor suppressor best known for its role in colorectal cancer plays a critical role in forming connections between neurons, according to a study in the August 18 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience.

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Genetics: New statistical analysis links mutations to disease

by  /  20 October 2010

A new study, published in September in PLOS Genetics, shows the importance of comparing cases to controls when linking mutations to a disorder. The researchers propose a new method of analysis that takes into account the large size of many genes expressed in the brain.

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Cognition and behavior: People with autism avoid eyes

by  /  18 October 2010

Individuals with autism spend less time looking at eyes than at the mouth because they actively shift their gaze away from the eye region, according to a study published in September in the Journal of Neuroscience.

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Mother’s immune response alters brain structure

by  /  18 October 2010

Chemicals produced by their mother’s immune system in utero alter the size of several key brain regions in people with schizophrenia, enlarging chambers that store cerebrospinal fluids, and shrinking parts of the cortex involved in processing emotion and memory.

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Williams syndrome mouse hones in on genetic culprits

by  /  15 October 2010

A mouse model of Williams syndrome pinpoints a genetic region associated with the social behavior seen in the disorder, and may also yield insights into autism, says researcher Uta Francke, professor emeritus of genetics at Stanford University.

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Genetics: Autism and attention deficit share mutations

by  /  15 October 2010

Individuals with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have a higher rate of DNA duplications and deletions, including some in regions linked to autism and schizophrenia, according to a study published 23 October in The Lancet.

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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.

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New tests for fragile X promise routine screening

by  /  11 October 2010

A new wave of genetic tests for fragile X syndrome, the leading cause of inherited mental retardation and the most common genetic cause of autism, may make it possible to routinely screen pregnant women and newborns for the syndrome.

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Multi-gene deletion creates model for Angelman syndrome

by  /  7 October 2010

A new mouse model of Angelman syndrome that knocks out a large stretch of a key chromosome is clarifying some of the molecular mechanisms underlying the more severe forms of the disorder.

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Molecular mechanisms: Autism mutation causes neuroligin to misfold

by  /  6 October 2010

A point mutation in the autism-linked protein neuroligin-3 (NLGN3), seen in individuals with autism, causes the protein to misfold and localize to the wrong site in the cell, according to a study published in September in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

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