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Spectrum: Autism Research News

Opinion /

Viewpoint

Expert opinions on trends and controversies in autism research.

Previous articles
July 2012

Targeting brain microcircuits may help treat autism

by  /  10 July 2012

Understanding the function of neuronal circuits, specifically microcircuits in the prefrontal cortex and elsewhere in the brain, will play a major role in translating research findings into new autism treatments, says Vikaas Sohal.

0 Comments
June 2012

Focus on function may help unravel autism’s complex genetics

by ,  /  26 June 2012

To find the pathogenic mutations in complex disorders such as autism, researchers may need to conduct sophisticated analyses of the genetic functions that are disrupted, says geneticist Aravinda Chakravarti.

0 Comments

The case for brain donation

by  /  26 June 2012

We can’t get back the tissue lost in the Harvard freezer malfunction, but we can try to create something positive from this tragic event, says Alison Singer.

2 Comments
May 2012

Population-based studies key for assessing autism prevalence

by  /  29 May 2012

Studies of autism prevalence should screen a representative sample of all individuals in the population, even those with no indications of the disorder, says epidemiologist Young-Shin Kim.

1 Comment

Social motivation, reward and the roots of autism

Social impairments in autism are likely a consequence of deficits in social motivation that start early in life and have profound developmental consequences, says psychologist Robert Schultz.

8 Comments
April 2012

In defense of childhood disintegrative disorder

by ,  /  3 April 2012

Childhood disintegrative disorder represents a distinct entity within the autism spectrum and it should remain a separate diagnostic category, says Kevin Pelphrey.

20 Comments
March 2012

How do we measure autism severity?

by  /  20 March 2012

Accurately measuring the severity of autism remains a challenge for the field. The answer may lie in using more than one approach that varies depending on whether it is being applied in a clinical or research context, says Raphael Bernier.

16 Comments

RAS pathway, a potentially unifying theory of autism

by  /  13 March 2012

Dysregulation of the intracellular signaling pathway RAS, a risk factor for idiopathic autism, may provide a unifying theory of the disorder. Although this is not an altogether new hypothesis, several new findings have strengthened the evidence for it considerably.

1 Comment

Looking at autism through the fruit fly

by  /  6 March 2012

The characteristics, interactions and roles of autism-associated genes in the fruit flies’ brain will help guide how we think about the same genes in humans, says Ralph Greenspan.

0 Comments
February 2012

Maternal anti-brain antibodies may play a role in autism

by , ,  /  21 February 2012

Maternal antibodies that attack fetal brain proteins could underlie some cases of autism, says immunologist Betty Diamond.

4 Comments

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