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Spectrum: Autism Research News

News Archive

October 2009

Video: NIH director has big plans for autism research

by  /  19 October 2009

National Institutes of Health director Francis Collins talks about the agency’s upcoming plans for “beefing up” autism research, including more than $100 million each year in grants for the field.

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CNTNAP2 variants alter brain connectivity

by  /  19 October 2009

Adolescents who carry certain common variants in a gene associated with autism — whether they have the disorder or not — show abnormal connectivity between brain regions, according to unpublished data presented at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in Chicago.

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Mitochondrial gene variants protect from autism

by  /  18 October 2009

Two variants in a gene needed for the cell’s energy balance may protect the carriers from autism, according to an unpublished study presented today at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in Chicago.

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Video: What autism teaches us about normal development

by  /  18 October 2009

Some of the most profound mysteries of human nature relate to how we communicate and interact with each other. Matthew Belmonte, assistant professor of human development at Cornell University, talks about how studying people with autism can help understand these aspects in healthy people.

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Cancer pathway yields mouse model for autism

by  /  18 October 2009

Mice missing FKBP12, a gene involved in a cancer pathway, show repetitive behavior and an impaired ability to socialize with other mice, and could be used to study autism, according to unpublished results presented at a poster session today at the Society for Neuroscience meeting.

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Imaging software explains contradictory brain data

by  /  18 October 2009

Computer software that maps the three dimensions of the brain has found that people with schizophrenia have deep grooves and small volumes in brain areas associated with planning and executive control.

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Video: “Bad” autism animal models

by  /  18 October 2009

Tracy Bale, associate professor of neuroscience at the University of Pennsylvania, talks about what she calls her “big soapbox issue”: the fallacious idea of a true animal model for a human psychiatric disease — and the pitfalls of over-interpreting rodent behavior.

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Synaptic proteins help neurons grow

by  /  17 October 2009

Proteins associated with autism mediate the growth of spiny neuronal projections, called dendrites, that form brain circuits in early life, according to unpublished research presented today at the Society for Neuroscience meeting.

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SFN blows into Windy City

by  /  16 October 2009

It’s that time of year again — fall foliage, plump pumpkins and, if you’re a neuroscientist, the mad, mobbed scenes at the Society for Neuroscience (SFN) annual meeting.

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Common mutations in Rett gene alter brain size

by  /  13 October 2009

Small, common variations in MeCP2 can subtly affect brain structure even in normal individuals, according to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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