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Mini-brains may pin down key genes in large mutations

by  /  22 October 2018

Clusters of brain cells — so-called ‘mini-brains’ grown in the lab — may help researchers understand how large stretches of duplicated or deleted DNA affect the brain.

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Some autism mutations go undetected, new study suggests

by  /  19 October 2018
Some mutations that contribute to autism and arise spontaneously may be mistaken for inherited mutations.
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A boy toddler learns to walk with an adult holding his hands.

Some ‘autism genes’ show stronger ties to related conditions

by  /  17 October 2018
The largest autism sequencing study to date implicates 99 genes in the condition — but nearly half have a tighter link to intellectual disability or developmental delay.
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Misfiring visual cells may underlie key sensory problem in fragile X

by  /  17 October 2018
The motion perception difficulties seen in people with fragile X syndrome, a leading cause of autism, may stem from a faulty visual circuit.

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Mutation types tied to autism converge on shared set of genes

by  /  18 October 2018

Genes linked to autism in sequencing studies tend be located in long stretches of DNA that are duplicated or missing in some people with developmental conditions.

letters and numbers made out of mice, MRIs and other materials.
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For studies, size matters: Let us count the ways

by  /  17 October 2018

In autism research, as in other fields, small sample sizes can lead to false findings. The size of the sample needed for statistical significance depends on the type of study.

Two children picking mushrooms in a field.
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Genetics plays outsized role in autism, large study shows

by  /  15 October 2018

Autism is more heritable than anorexia, alcohol dependence, depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder, according to an analysis of data from nearly 4.5 million people.

Two female children playing with blocks, one is crying, the other is facing away.
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Siblings of children with autism have social, emotional problems

by  /  11 October 2018

Even undiagnosed siblings of children with autism tend to struggle with anxiety, depression and social difficulties.

Illustration of research mice forming the letter "X".
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Fragile X syndrome’s link to autism, explained

by  /  10 October 2018

Fragile X syndrome is a leading genetic cause of autism. People who have either condition often share certain traits, such as difficulties in social situations.

Two women seen from behind with arms around each other.
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Overlap in traits of autism, attention deficit persists into adulthood

by  /  8 October 2018

Traits linked to autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder tend to co-occur even in adulthood.

Modifier genes may enhance or diminish the effects of a mutation linked to autism.
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Second ‘hits’ may explain autism mutations’ varied effects

by  /  5 October 2018

People who have a mutation linked to autism plus a second genetic glitch tend to have more severe symptoms than those with the mutation alone.

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Studying genetics in the age of big data

by ,  /  4 October 2018

New biomedical techniques, like next-generation genome sequencing, are creating vast amounts of data and transforming the scientific landscape.

An illustration shows colored blocks with a child's hand and an adult's hand moving them.
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Early interventions, explained

by  /  4 October 2018

The accepted wisdom in autism research holds that early intervention offers the best promise for an autistic child’s well-being. But how effective are these therapies?

DNA helix with two mutations glowing blue on the helices. Rebecca Horne
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Study links subset of genetic variants to autism, intellectual disability

by  /  3 October 2018

Genetic variants across the genome contribute to about 8 percent of the risk for certain developmental conditions — much more than previously thought.

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