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Spectrum: Autism Research News

News Archive

June 2009

Genetic changes during cell splitting may lead to autism

by  /  2 June 2009

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.

May 2009

Angelman syndrome gene tied to brain’s adaptability

by  /  26 May 2009

A gene linked to autism and other developmental disorders can undermine the brain’s ability to change the strength of connections between neurons.


Laser technique pins source of brain waves linked to autism

by  /  19 May 2009

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.


Brain images uncover candidate genes for schizophrenia, autism

by  /  12 May 2009

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.


Visual contrast drives face recognition, study finds

by  /  5 May 2009

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.

April 2009

Genome-wide study fingers first common risk factors for autism

by  /  28 April 2009

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.


Screen for autism risk genes finds two new candidates

by  /  28 April 2009

Scientists have found a handful of genes — including two that had not previously been associated with autism — that may increase risk of the disorder.


Amygdala in autistic brains may not adapt to social stimuli

by  /  22 April 2009

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.


Fragile X protein may control sleep span, study suggests

by  /  16 April 2009

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.


Experts question study touting hyperbaric therapy for autism

by  /  13 April 2009

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.