Genetic screening of children with autism is critical to designing more effective interventions and treatment, says a pediatrician.
Mice lacking one copy of a gene associated with Williams syndrome share the hyper-sociability of people with the disorder, according to a paper published online 3 December in Autism Research.
Chromosome 15 may harbor one or more risk genes for autism, according to a new study of multigenerational inheritance in Utah. Researchers have gathered data on family pedigrees stretching back as far as nine generations, with up to five family members affected by the disorder.
Mice missing a large protein at the junction between neurons show motor impairments, anxiety and increased social behaviors, according to a study in the American Journal of Psychiatry. The protein, postsynaptic density-95 or PSD-95, is part of a key molecular bridge connecting other proteins linked to autism.
Children with Williams syndrome are chatty, have rich vocabularies and love to tell stories. Yet they have trouble learning certain complex rules of grammar, according to a study published in the Journal of Speech, Language and Hearing Research.
A mouse model of Williams syndrome pinpoints a genetic region associated with the social behavior seen in the disorder, and may also yield insights into autism, says researcher Uta Francke, professor emeritus of genetics at Stanford University.
Individuals carrying an extra copy of the genetic region that’s missing in Williams syndrome — which causes mental retardation and a hyper-friendly personality — have language impairments and other autism-like social difficulties, according to a wave of new research on this duplication syndrome.
Studying the relatively well-defined genetics of Williams syndrome may help unravel the poorly understood genetic and neurobiological roots of autism, researchers say.