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Spectrum: Autism Research News


May 2012

Shrinking brains

by  /  18 May 2012

Long-term treatment with antipsychotic drugs and mood stabilizers can change the structure of the brain.


Molecular mechanisms: Growth factor altered in autism brains

by  /  8 May 2012

The brains of individuals with autism have higher-than-typical levels of the precursor to a neuronal growth factor called BDNF, according to a study published in the April issue of the Journal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology. The results suggest a mechanism for altered brain development in autism.

February 2012

Clinical research: Two compounds treat Rett syndrome in mice

by  /  1 February 2012

Two compounds that enhance the activity of BDNF, a protein needed for the growth of neurons, improve motor skills in mouse models of Rett syndrome and increase the mice’s lifespan.

August 2011

Molecular mechanisms: MeCP2 regulated by chemical switch

by  /  17 August 2011

MeCP2, the protein missing in people with Rett syndrome, enhances learning and memory by binding to key genes and either activating or inhibiting their expression, according to a study published 17 July in Nature Neuroscience. Adding a phosphate to the protein in response to neuronal activity releases MeCP2 from these genes, the study found.

June 2011

Genetics: Chromosome 11 deletion links autism, obesity

by  /  7 June 2011

Deletions on a segment of chromosome 11 are associated with autism, attention problems and obesity, according to a study published in the June issue of the American Journal of Medical Genetics Part A.

November 2010

Autism drug’s usefulness depends on genetic profile

by  /  8 November 2010

An antipsychotic drug often prescribed to treat irritability in children with autism may be more helpful — and cause fewer side effects — depending on an individual’s genetic make-up.

November 2008

Altering epigenetic changes

by  /  17 November 2008

Targeting epigenetic mechanisms may offer potential new therapies for people with developmental disorders including autism, researchers said today at the Society for Neuroscience meeting.


Treating Rett syndrome

by  /  17 November 2008

Treatment with the insulin-like growth factor (IGF) greatly improves the health of mouse models of Rett syndrome ― a regressive genetic disorder that causes mental retardation, seizures, and autistic features ― according to unpublished researched presented this morning at the Society for Neuroscience conference.