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Spectrum: Autism Research News

News Archive

March 2009

Rett gene in amygdala linked to fear and learning

by  /  31 March 2009

Deleting the gene associated with Rett syndrome from the amygdala region of mouse brains triggers anxiety and problems with learning and memory, according to research published today in the Journal of Neuroscience.


Children with autism found to rely on sight-sound synchrony

by  /  29 March 2009

Most young animals, from newly hatched chicks to 2-day-old humans, are exquisitely sensitive to the movements of other animals. But 2-year-old children with autism don’t pay special attention to this so-called ‘biological motion’, according to a study published today in Nature.


Stimulus money set to fund autism research

by  /  25 March 2009

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) yesterday committed $60 million from the stimulus package to fund research goals for autism laid out in the first federal ‘strategic plan’ for autism research. That plan, published 5 March, and crafted by a federal advisory panel over the past year, recommends 40 research studies with a projected cost of $800 million over the next decade.


Autism gene linked to gut woes

by  /  20 March 2009

A single gene variant is found more often in people who have both autism and gastrointestinal problems than in healthy controls, and could help explain the mysterious link between autism and the gut, according to a study published in the March issue of Pediatrics.


New EEG analysis captures coordination among brain regions

by  /  11 March 2009

A new way of analyzing the data gathered from electroencephalography (EEG) ― a non-invasive technique that measures brain waves through the scalp ― provides much more information about how brain regions coordinate with one another than standard EEG analysis.


Study says Rett gene’s role in glia, not neurons, is crucial

by  /  5 March 2009

MeCP2, the gene that causes the autism-related Rett syndrome, is expressed not just in neurons but in glia ― cells that support neurons and help process information ― in the brain, according to a study published online in the March issue of Nature Neuroscience.

February 2009

Antidepressant proves ineffective at treating autism symptoms

by  /  27 February 2009

The sponsors of the largest clinical trial of a treatment for autism on 18 February revealed disheartening results: fluoxetine ― commonly marketed as the antidepressant Prozac ― is no more effective than placebo at reducing repetitive behaviors in children with autism.


Search for autism biomarkers turns to saliva

by  /  24 February 2009

The saliva of roughly two-thirds of people on the autism spectrum contains abnormal chemical variations in small proteins, called peptides, according to a study published in the December issue of the Journal of Proteome Research.


Autism often accompanied by ‘super vision’, studies find

by  /  12 February 2009

‘Eagle-eyed’ vision, characteristic of many people on the autism spectrum, stems at least in part from abnormal variations in the early stages of visual processing, according to two reports published in the January issue of Biological Psychiatry.


Scandinavian registries boost autism research

by  /  9 February 2009

Every baby born in Denmark, within the first few days of life, receives a unique, 10-digit identification number. The babyʼs name and number become a part of the Danish Medical Birth Registry, a comprehensive electronic record of the birth details ― from birth weight and length to parents’ smoking habits ― established in 1968.