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Spectrum: Autism Research News


March 2014

Rising awareness may explain spike in autism diagnoses

by  /  17 March 2014

Young boys continue to have the highest rate of autism diagnoses, but Danish doctors are diagnosing more girls, teenagers and adults with the disorder than they did in the mid-1990s. That’s the finding from a 16-year study published 20 February in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.


Genetics: Fragile X mutation leads to syndrome

by  /  11 March 2014

A teenager with fragile X syndrome carries a rare mutation that changes a single amino acid in the FMRP protein, researchers reported 22 January in the European Journal of Human Genetics.


Sleep, mood woes weigh on obese children with autism

by  /  4 March 2014

Adding to the complications of autism, overweight and obese children with the disorder are prone to a host of other troubles, including depression, anxiety and sleep problems, reports a study published 2 February in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.

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February 2014

Genetics: Proteins that support neurons linked to autism

by  /  25 February 2014

Mutations in two proteins that help guide neurons as they grow in the developing brain may be risk factors for autism, according to a study published 14 January in Human Molecular Genetics.


Attention deficit in mothers raises children’s autism risk

by  /  24 February 2014

Children of women who have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder are at increased risk for autism and attention deficit, according to a study published 21 January in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. This suggests the two diseases have common risk factors.

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January 2014

Untrained doctors slow autism care in many nations

by  /  31 January 2014

A shortage of trained doctors, lack of awareness and long waiting lists for specialized care delay diagnosis and treatment of autism in many low- and middle-income countries, report two new studies.


Duplication of chromosome 22 region thwarts schizophrenia

by  /  2 January 2014

Carrying a duplication of the 22q11.2 chromosomal region may protect against schizophrenia, suggests a study published 12 November in Molecular Psychiatry. This is the first evidence of a genetic region that lowers the risk of a disorder rather than increases it.

December 2013

Genetics: SHANK3 duplication leads to hyperactivity in mice

by  /  17 December 2013

Mice with a duplication of SHANK3, a gene with strong links to autism, are hyperactive and manic, reports a study published 7 November in Nature.


Many children with autism take multiple drugs

by  /  3 December 2013

It’s common for children with autism to take more than one medication to improve symptoms, despite the dearth of information about the drugs’ long-term safety, according to two new studies.

November 2013

Television time

by  /  22 November 2013

Teenagers with autism have a penchant for cartoons and first-person shooter video games, but for at least some of them, screen time may translate to a useful social tool, two new studies suggest.

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