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Expert opinions on trends and controversies in autism research.

Previous articles

August 2011
Opinion / Viewpoint

Fair representation for the fairer sex in autism research

by  /  16 August 2011

Including more females in autism research studies will aid the search for genetic and environmental susceptibility factors for the disorder, says genetic psychiatrist Lauren Weiss.

2 Comments
Opinion / Viewpoint

Studying autism genetics in special populations

by  /  2 August 2011

The study of any genetic disorder benefits from including the many diverse human populations in our world, and autism should be no different, says geneticist Christopher Walsh.

1 Comment
July 2011
Opinion / Viewpoint

Insights for autism from Angelman syndrome

by , ,  /  19 July 2011

Deletions or duplications of the UBE3A gene lead to both Angelman syndrome and some cases of autism, respectively. Studying the effects of altered gene dosage in this region will provide insights into brain defects and suggest targets for therapies for both disorders, says expert Benjamin Philpot.

1 Comment
Opinion / Viewpoint

Studying infant sibs of children with autism spectrum disorder

by  /  5 July 2011

Studying the infant siblings of children who have autism to identify early signs of the disorder is expected to have enormous impact on the field from a clinical and a basic science standpoint, says psychologist Karen Dobkins.

0 Comments
June 2011
Opinion / Viewpoint

Drug trials for fragile X syndrome lead the way for autism

by  /  21 June 2011

Several targeted trials on drugs that treat fragile X syndrome are under way. But accurate endpoints to measure the drugs’ effectiveness are crucial, argues developmental and behavioral pediatrician Randi Hagerman.

0 Comments
Opinion / Viewpoint

Solving the complex causes of a multi-hit disorder

by ,  /  7 June 2011

What’s known about the genetics of autism supports the ‘snowflake’ hypothesis — that the molecular underpinnings of disease are essentially unique from individual to individual — says human geneticist Brett Abrahams.

1 Comment
May 2011
Opinion / Viewpoint

Isabelle Rapin: Lessons from my clinic

by  /  24 May 2011

Autism is diagnosed based on the severity and variety of its symptoms. This makes it very difficult to diagnose and easy to confuse with other disorders, such as language delay and intellectual disability, cautions Isabelle Rapin.

5 Comments
Opinion / Viewpoint

Promises and limitations of mouse models of autism

by  /  10 May 2011

Good mouse models of autism, and accurate tests to assay their phenotypes, are key to both narrowing down a cause and developing effective treatments, argues expert Jacqueline Crawley.

0 Comments
April 2011
Opinion / Viewpoint

Uta Frith: Why I am obsessed with this cognitive thing

by  /  26 April 2011

No matter which of the numerous genetic and environmental risk factors has caused autism, the part of the system that is always affected is most likely to be found at the cognitive level, argues Uta Frith, a leader in the field of cognitive neuroscience.

17 Comments
Opinion / Viewpoint

Imaging biomarkers could signal autism spectrum disorder

by  /  12 April 2011

There does not appear to be a single genetic or environmental cause of autism, and given the heterogeneity of symptoms, coming up with a clear yes or no test for autism is challenging. Timothy Roberts argues that imaging and electrophysiology are key in the search for autism biomarkers.

0 Comments

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