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Spectrum: Autism Research News

News Archive

April 2010

Autism symptoms emerge in infancy, sibling study finds

by  /  6 April 2010

At 6 months of age, babies who will later develop autism begin to lose some of their social skills and continue to regress until age 3, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry.

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March 2010

Autism and fragile X feature immune signatures

by  /  30 March 2010

Scientists have identified distinct blood signatures of cytokines — proteins that control communication between cells of the immune system — in individuals with fragile X syndrome and autism.

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Delay found in development of fragile X brains

by  /  26 March 2010

Young mouse models of fragile X syndrome show a significant lag in the development of synapses, the connections between neurons, according to a study published in Neuron. The findings suggest that a similar mistiming may be responsible for the sensory problems — such as hypersensitivity to touch and sound — sometimes seen in people with fragile X syndrome.

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Road maps of epigenome hold promise for autism

by  /  18 March 2010

Scientists have unveiled the first two comprehensive maps of the human epigenome, the set of chemical changes that affect gene expression without altering the underlying DNA code. Pinpointing epigenetic differences between healthy and diseased cells could reveal the roots of many conditions, including autism.

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Researchers seek patterns in the sounds of autism

by  /  15 March 2010

Scientists have created machines to detect distinctive speech patterns in children with autism that go unnoticed by the naked ear.

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Face recognition is distinct genetic skill, studies find

by  /  11 March 2010

The ability to recognize faces and interpret facial expressions is programmed partly by genes and inherited separately from other traits, according to three independent studies published this year.

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Studies challenge link between premature birth and autism

by  /  8 March 2010

The proposed connection between premature birth and autism may be more complicated than it seems, according to a new report. Early birth may not cause classically defined autism but, rather, may predispose children to autism-like symptoms that are part of a larger syndrome, the researchers say.

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Postmortem brains point to impaired inhibition in autism

by  /  4 March 2010

Researchers have found a higher density of several types of interneurons — nerve cells that connect sensory and motor neurons in the brain— in postmortem brain tissue from individuals with autism, compared with healthy controls. The findings appear in the February issue of Acta Neurologica Scandinavica.

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Clinical, animal studies probe DISC1’s role in autism

by  /  1 March 2010

Several genetic and animal studies in the past year have found intriguing ties between autism and DISC1, one of the oldest candidate genes for psychiatric disorders.

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February 2010

People with autism stumble on self-other distinctions

by  /  25 February 2010

When thinking about themselves, adults with autism have lower activity in two specific brain regions than do healthy controls, according to an imaging study published in the February issue of Brain.

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