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Inheritance plays different roles in autism with and without intellectual disability

by  /  19 November 2020

Autism with intellectual disability is less heritable than autism alone, according to a new study of how the conditions run in extended families.

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Researcher-provided images show experiment that tracks gaze.

Autistic people do not shift attention based on social cues

by  /  16 November 2020
A new eye-tracking study highlights how social cues shape attention differently in people with and without autism.
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Photograph shows young woman and older woman discussing paperwork.

‘Theory of mind’ does not fade with age among autistic adults

by  /  13 November 2020
Autistic people's ability to understand another person's thinking does not diminish with age, as it does for non-autistic people.
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Difficulty identifying emotions linked to poor mental health in autistic people

by  /  12 November 2020
Autistic people who have trouble identifying their emotions are also likely to have anxiety, depression and problems with social communication.

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Dilated mouse pupil
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Mice reveal roots of sensory issues tied to top autism gene

by  /  23 November 2020

Mice with mutations in the autism-linked gene SYNGAP1 have trouble sensing touch, which may stem in part from brain-circuit alterations and dulled alertness.

Young zebrafish with transparent skin showing green glowing beads in gut.
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Zebrafish and ‘Smurf cakes’ link autism gene mutation to digestive woes

by  /  20 November 2020

Mutations in a top autism gene called SYNGAP1 slow the rate at which zebrafish digest food and pass waste, and may also disrupt gut function in people.

Micrograph of nerve cells being targeted by CRISPR enzyme to activate the silenced gene in Angelman syndrome
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Prenatal CRISPR therapy blocks Angelman syndrome traits in mice

by  /  9 November 2020

A gene-editing treatment shows long-lasting effects in a mouse model of Angelman syndrome, a genetic condition related to autism.

Smiling teenage boy showing mobile phone to friends on sofa while studying at home
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Some autistic people report poor quality of life, but many do not

by  /  6 November 2020

Autistic people vary widely in how they describe their quality of life. Anxiety and depression may account for that range more than traits of autism do.

Photograph of lab researchers at Ultragenyx
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Gene therapy trial for autism-linked condition is put on hold

by  /  5 November 2020

All five participants in a clinical trial of a gene therapy for Angelman syndrome experienced leg weakness, leading sponsors to pause the study.

Fifteen different drugs commonly prescribed to people with autism created unique behavioral signatures in mice.
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‘MoSeq’ identifies drug-specific behaviors in autism mouse model

by  /  2 November 2020

A tool that relies on video cameras and machine learning can identify mice that have mutations in a top autism gene by their behaviors. It also detects how a widely used autism drug affects their movements.

Group of DNA helixes are seen on black
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Analysis combining variants, conditions uncovers hundreds of neurodevelopmental genes

by  /  2 November 2020

The first genetic analysis of multiple types of variants from people with autism or other neurodevelopmental conditions reveals hundreds of genes that may be linked to neurodevelopment.

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Integrating molecular data may reveal subgroups of autism

by  /  30 October 2020

An analysis of four molecular datasets shows a distinct signature, including changes in gene expression and chemical DNA modifications, in some autism brains.

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Reactions from ASHG 2020

by  /  30 October 2020

Get the inside scoop from the 2020 American Society of Human Genetics annual meeting.

Black mother pushing her child on swing at playground.
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First analysis of African autism cohort reveals millions of new variants

by  /  29 October 2020

Genome sequences from a research cohort of autistic African children and their families have revealed more than 4 million novel variants, some of which occur in genes not previously linked to the condition.

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