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Spectrum: Autism Research News

Opinion /

Viewpoint

Expert opinions on trends and controversies in autism research.

Previous articles
November 2012

Defining language deficits across autism spectrum

by ,  /  27 November 2012

We are on the verge of a seismic shift in the definition of autism spectrum disorders, says David Skuse. Under proposed guidelines for autism diagnosis, the canard that most people with the disorder cannot speak, or have such disordered language that they cannot sustain a conversation, has been abandoned.

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Oxytocin’s power

by  /  13 November 2012

A new study shows that long-term treatment with oxytocin, a hormone that typically enhances social bonds, can have unexpected consequences, says Sue Carter, a research scientist at RTI International.

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Insights for autism from schizophrenia

by ,  /  13 November 2012

Lessons learned from postmortem studies of schizophrenia are applicable to research on autism, a disorder for which brain tissue has not been as well studied, say Allison Curley and David Lewis.

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October 2012

Drug zone

by  /  26 October 2012

Rodent and stem cell models remain challenging for developing psychiatric drugs, says Michael Ehlers, chief scientific officer of neuroscience at Pfizer.

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Transparent reports

by  /  19 October 2012

New standards for animal studies, including an emphasis on replicating results and the publication of negative findings, are vital for research progress, says Jacqueline Crawley.

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Helpful hurdles

by ,  /  16 October 2012

Rapid progress in gene discovery and an emerging map of the molecular landscape of normal brain development are presenting unprecedented opportunities to unravel the biology of autism spectrum disorders, say Matthew State and Nenad Sestan.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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September 2012

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.

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