Spontaneous deletions and duplications of DNA, which appear with greater frequency in people with autism, sometimes arise after conception, according to a new article in Molecular Psychiatry.
Spectrum: Autism Research News
A gene linked to autism and other developmental disorders can undermine the brain’s ability to change the strength of connections between neurons.
Researchers have for the first time identified the type of neurons that produce gamma rhythms, the high-frequency brain waves that are thought to go awry in autism and schizophrenia.
Applying an emerging technique that combines genetic data and brain scans, researchers have identified two new genes involved in schizophrenia. The method, called ‘imaging genetics’, holds promise for linking genes to brain function in complex psychiatric disorders, including autism.
The answer to a long-standing mystery in visual neuroscience may also help explain how people with autism perceive faces, according to a study published in March in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Autism results from a diverse mix of common and rare genetic variants, many of which act in pathways that form and maintain connections between neurons. That’s the message from the largest genome-wide association studies of autism to date, published online today in Nature.
Scientists have found a handful of genes — including two that had not previously been associated with autism — that may increase risk of the disorder.
The characteristic inability of a person with autism to respond to emotions may stem from sustained arousal in the amygdala, the brain region needed to interpret emotions from facial expressions.
The genetic culprit in fragile X syndrome — a form of mental retardation frequently accompanied by autism — can alter how much fruit flies sleep, according to a study published in the Journal of Neuroscience.
A much-publicized study reporting social and cognitive improvements in children with autism who breathed pure oxygen in a high-pressure chamber has met with skepticism from other autism researchers.