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Expert opinions on trends and controversies in autism research.

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October 2012
Opinion / Viewpoint

A call for open-science approaches in autism research

by  /  16 October 2012

Sharing data and tools is universally efficient, but the study of autism in particular presents challenges that can benefit from an open-science framework, says Randy Buckner.

1 Comment
Opinion / Viewpoint

Speedy mice

by  /  2 October 2012

Amphetamines and other compounds with stimulant properties may improve social behaviors in a subset of individuals who have autism with hyperactivity, says Jill Silverman.

0 Comments
Opinion / Viewpoint

Placenta plays potent role in autism risk

by ,  /  2 October 2012

As the central organ regulating maternal-fetal interactions, the placenta is perfectly positioned to mediate environmental and genetic risk factors during prenatal development. It may also relay risk factors for autism to the fetus, says Paul Patterson.

5 Comments
September 2012
Opinion / Viewpoint

Utah, revisited

by  /  25 September 2012

New analysis of an in-depth study of autism rates in Utah in the 1980s highlights how changing diagnostic guidelines may be contributing to the rise in prevalence.

4 Comments
Opinion / Viewpoint

Insights for autism from Williams syndrome

by  /  18 September 2012

Studying the well-characterized Williams syndrome could help researchers understand autism and discover new therapeutic targets, says Andreas Meyer-Lindenberg.

3 Comments
Opinion / Viewpoint

Premature ideas

by  /  7 September 2012

A New York Times opinion column on 25 August suggested that at least some cases of autism could be considered inflammatory disorders. But this theory is still in its infancy.

5 Comments
Opinion / Viewpoint

Postmortem brains crucial for autism research

by ,  /  4 September 2012

Postmortem brains from individuals with autism allow researchers to look at patterns of gene expression in different cell types, and to understand the interplay among neurons and neural circuits, says Dan Arking.

0 Comments
August 2012
Opinion / Viewpoint

Heart matters

by  /  24 August 2012

Rather than make blanket decisions, doctors must gauge the level of cognitive impairment in individuals with autism when considering them for organ transplants, says bioethicist Arthur Caplan.

3 Comments
Opinion / Viewpoint

Executive confusion

by  /  21 August 2012

Among siblings of children with autism, those with better prefrontal cortex functioning — observable as relatively strong executive functions for their age — are better able to compensate for atypicalities in other brain systems early in life, and are therefore less likely to receive a diagnosis of autism later in their development, argues Mark H. Johnson.

0 Comments
Opinion / Viewpoint

Genes and environment are two-way street in autism risk

by  /  21 August 2012

Genes and the environment each influence the role of the other in determining the risk of developing autism. Genetics can determine how susceptible one is to the environment, and environmental factors can influence gene expression and introduce mutations, says immunologist Janine LaSalle.

9 Comments

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