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Spectrum: Autism Research News


November 2013

Genetics: Spontaneous mutation links dopamine to autism

by  /  12 November 2013

A newly discovered spontaneous mutation, described 27 August in Molecular Psychiatry, links autism to changes in the regulation of the chemical messenger dopamine.


Clinical research: Low thyroid in pregnancy linked to autism

by  /  1 November 2013

Low levels of a thyroid hormone during pregnancy raise the risk of autism-like symptoms in the child by fourfold, according to a study published 13 August in Annals of Neurology.

October 2013

ESSENCE: From defined categories to broad understanding

by  /  8 October 2013

Clinicians should place children under age 5 who have developmental delay into a broad diagnostic category, called ESSENCE, which may then resolve into any number of individual diagnoses over time, says Christopher Gillberg. 


Conflicting messages

by  /  4 October 2013

Two contradictory studies prompt questions about the reliability of self-report questionnaires in autism.


Screen test

by  /  1 October 2013

Age-based cutoff scores for BISCUIT, an early diagnostic tool for children with autism traits, help clinicians accurately identify children who also have other disorders, says Johnny Matson.


Genetics: Common variants key in psychiatric inheritance

by  /  1 October 2013

More of the common variants implicated in schizophrenia are also linked to bipolar disorder than to autism, according to a study published 28 August in Nature Genetics.

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September 2013

World of drugs

by  /  20 September 2013

The most popular drugs prescribed for autism in some countries often have serious side effects or have not been vetted in robust clinical trials, finds a study published 5 September in Psychopharmacology.

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Clinical research: Autism, bipolar disorder may often overlap

by  /  20 September 2013

As much as 30 percent of children diagnosed with bipolar disorder may also have autism, suggests a study published in the June issue of the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.

August 2013

Ritalin reaction

by  /  23 August 2013

Some children with autism and hyperactivity have a genetic intolerance to methylphenidate (Ritalin), the drug commonly prescribed for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, reports a new study published 16 July in Pharmacogenomics.

July 2013

Clinical research: Attention deficit adds to autism tantrums

by  /  26 July 2013

Children who meet the criteria for both autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder have more severe behavioral problems than do children with either disorder alone, according to three studies published in the past few months.