Broken rules are even more distressing to people with autism than being excluded, according to a new study.
Studying the infant siblings of children who have autism to identify early signs of the disorder is expected to have enormous impact on the field from a clinical and a basic science standpoint, says psychologist Karen Dobkins.
Adults with autism who have high intelligence quotients (IQ) are better at identifying the direction of biological motion than are those with lower IQ scores, according to a study published 3 May in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.
Individuals with autism have multiple mutations in a pathway that functions in the mitochondria, the energy center of the cell, according to a study published 27 April in the European Journal of Human Genetics. They also have higher-than-average numbers of variants in pathways involved in metabolism, gene expression and the regulation of cell division.
Two large studies published in the past two months have found that traits linked to autism are widely distributed in the general population. Although about 1 in 100 children is diagnosed with autism, up to 30 percent of people may have at least one of the traits associated with the disorder.
An autism-associated gene variant of glyoxalase 1, or GLO1, leads to the buildup of a compound that is toxic to neurons, according to a study published 12 April in Autism Research.
At 12 months of age, infant siblings of children with autism have a brain response to unfamiliar faces that is characteristic of typical children at a younger age, according to a study published 26 March in Brain Topography. This developmental delay could be used as an early biomarker for autism.
Small duplications or deletions of DNA regions — called micro-copy number variations — may not lead directly to disease, but could raise the risk of autism when combined with other mutations, according to a study published in March in the American Journal of Medical Genetics Part B: Neuropsychiatric Genetics.
It’s too soon to call it a diagnostic test for autism, but an algorithm that detects patterns in brain waves shows promise as one component of a screening battery for the disorder, say researchers familiar with the work.