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Spectrum: Autism Research News

Tag: cortex

March 2010

Learning opportunities

by  /  23 March 2010

There are several short periods during development in which our brains are ‘plastic’ — meaning that neuronal connections appear and disappear depending on how much they are used. Researchers may have found a way to reopen those learning windows.

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Postmortem brains point to impaired inhibition in autism

by  /  4 March 2010

Researchers have found a higher density of several types of interneurons — nerve cells that connect sensory and motor neurons in the brain— in postmortem brain tissue from individuals with autism, compared with healthy controls. The findings appear in the February issue of Acta Neurologica Scandinavica.

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February 2010

Variants in trust hormone receptor up the risk for autism

by  /  1 February 2010

Genetic variations that tweak the brain’s release of oxytocin — a hormone involved in social bonding and establishing trust — may increase the risk of developing autism or traits of the disorder, according to three new studies published in the past few months.

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December 2009

Pupil response to light could be biomarker for autism

by  /  11 December 2009

The pupils of children with autism contract more slowly in response to flashes of light than those of their healthy peers, according to findings published in the November issue of the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.

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November 2009

Autism study zooms in on five-gene strip on chromosome 16

by  /  10 November 2009

Genetic analysis of one Belgian family with a history of autism has pinpointed a piece of DNA on chromosome 16, within a segment thought to be missing in about one percent of all cases of autism. The unpublished data was presented on Saturday at the World Congress of Psychiatric Genetics in San Diego.

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October 2009

Mounting evidence links language pathway to autism

by  /  26 October 2009

A pathway involved in language development is increasingly proving to be important in autism, suggest a series of new studies on cellular and behavioral aspects of the disorder.

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July 2009

Studies of brain structure boost ‘connectivity theory’ of autism

by  /  21 July 2009

The brains of people with autism have structural abnormalities that disrupt normal connections between brain regions and impede the flow of information across the brain. That’s the conclusion of a 20-year-old theory supported by several new studies.

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May 2008

Christopher Walsh: Solving mysteries of the mind in the Middle East

by  /  13 May 2008

At first glance, the waiting room at the Ministry of Health Hospital in Muscat, Oman, may look different than that of your average American hospital. Men dressed all in white and women in black burqas wait in separate rooms, even if they are members of the same family. But talking to these families soon reveals just how similar they are to their American counterparts, says Christopher Walsh, a neurologist who has studied neurodevelopmental disorders in the Middle East for nearly 10 years.

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February 2008

Brain growth could be early sign of autism

by  /  11 February 2008

As many as one in every three people with autism develop a macrocephalus, or extremely enlarged head, at some point in their lives, an observation largely accepted as fact. But how or why this happens ― and whether it happens consistently enough to be useful in diagnosing autism ― remains contentious.

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December 2007

Gordon Fishell: Oracle’s gift to autism

by  /  7 December 2007

Along with answering fundamental questions about mammalian brain organization, watching interneurons’ “handshake” with other brain cells is the key to understanding autism, says Gordon Fishell.

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