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Spectrum: Autism Research News

News Archive

October 2008

TSC genes required for axon formation, study says

by  /  29 October 2008

Mutations in the two genes that cause the disease tuberous sclerosis complex, or TSC, interfere with the normal formation of axons, the long and thin strands that conduct electrical signals between brain cells, researchers contend in a report in Genes and Development.


Researchers find sleep, not sedation, ideal for imaging children

by  /  20 October 2008

In imaging studies of children with autism, researchers are increasingly turning to methods that enhance natural sleep, rather than the traditional approach of sedating the children.


Seeking genes that protect from autism

by  /  14 October 2008

In the past few years, scientists have uncovered a handful of genes that increase the risk of autism. In an interesting twist, others are instead looking for genetic factors that protect from autism.


Chinese study reports no difference in schizophrenia CNV rate

by  /  9 October 2008

People with schizophrenia have roughly the same rate of copy number variations as do healthy controls, according to a study in the Chinese Han population published in Molecular Psychiatry.


Mouse model links gene on chromosome 22 to schizophrenia

by  /  5 October 2008

A specific gene in the chromosomal region 22q11 is important for normal brain connectivity and synapse formation, and its absence may lead to schizophrenia, researchers are reporting today in Nature Neuroscience. The same team first linked a deletion in the chromosomal region to the disorder 13 years ago.

September 2008

Rett syndrome gene involved in obesity and aggression

by  /  25 September 2008

The gene that causes Rett syndrome, a rare disorder on the autism spectrum that affects only females, may also play a key role in aggressive behavior and overeating in mice, according to a study published today in Neuron.


Autism mouse models may share defects in brain circuits

by  /  22 September 2008

In the past year, researchers have debuted a growing number of mouse models that they say exhibit the subtle behaviors of autism. In the midst of controversy over whether these mouse models represent autism, one team of scientists is looking for quirks in the animalsʼ neural circuits.


Scientists probe reports of Somali autism ‘cluster’

by  /  17 September 2008

Researchers in Minneapolis and Sweden are investigating reports of so-called autism clusters among children from immigrant Somali populations. Some scientists say the clusters may be the result of a vitamin D deficiency ― a largely untested hypothesis.


Serotonin transporter less active in autism brains

by  /  12 September 2008

Children with autism show reduced activity of the serotonin transporter ― which helps regulate levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin ― in brain regions that process emotions, according to research published in August.


In rare cases, scientists link autism to folate deficiency

by  /  8 September 2008

In the fall of 2006, Liz and Peter Bell started to notice behavioral and neurological regression in their 13-year-old son, Tyler.