A whopping 95 percent of children with autism have at least three other psychiatric disorders, and 74 percent have five or more, according to a study in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.
Spectrum: Autism Research News
Several studies in the past year in people, mice and honeybees have tied autism to a protein that helps neurons communicate. Problems with the protein, neurexin 1, are associated with a wide range of autistic behaviors, such as impaired social interactions, anxiety and problems with learning and memory.
The proposed connection between premature birth and autism may be more complicated than it seems, according to a new report. Early birth may not cause classically defined autism but, rather, may predispose children to autism-like symptoms that are part of a larger syndrome, the researchers say.
Several genetic and animal studies in the past year have found intriguing ties between autism and DISC1, one of the oldest candidate genes for psychiatric disorders.
Researchers are using dogs as models of psychiatric and behavioral conditions, including obsessive-compulsive disorder and autism.
Deletions or duplications of chromosomal segment 16p11.2 — previously reported as a key autism region — are seen in people with developmental delays and speech and behavioral problems, but not necessarily autism. That’s the finding from two large studies published last week of people carrying these rare genetic variations.
The Psychiatric GWAS Consortium has released its first batch of analyses, identifying several significant common variations associated with schizophrenia. The results were presented Sunday at the World Congress of Psychiatric Genetics in San Diego.