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Spectrum: Autism Research News

Tag: intellectual disability

May 2021
young woman sitting on steps alone, looking anxious.

Anxiety, self-harm elevated in people with DDX3X syndrome

by  /  3 May 2021

Girls and women with mutations in the autism-linked gene DDX3X may be particularly vulnerable to anxiety and self-harm.

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April 2021
three black and white monkey brain views next to three color versions showing the a drug target area colored red.

Drug boosts cognition in men with fragile X syndrome

by  /  29 April 2021

A drug that prevents an enzyme from breaking down a key molecule involved in learning and memory improved cognition and behavior in a small study of men with fragile X syndrome.

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Child in an MEG machine

Making neuroimaging accessible for more autistic children

by  /  6 April 2021

A new protocol aims to help researchers include more autistic people — especially those who are minimally verbal or have intellectual disability — in imaging studies.

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March 2021
Mouse brain neurons labeled with a genetic marker show pink on a dramatic blue background.

Early training forestalls motor, memory difficulties in mouse model of Rett syndrome

by  /  24 March 2021

Motor and memory training early in life postpones the onset of difficulties in those areas in a mouse model of Rett syndrome, and stimulating neurons involved in those skills appears to mimic the effects of training.

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Brain made of DNA strands on a background of molecule shapes

There are no autism-specific genes, just brain genes

by ,  /  23 March 2021

There is not yet a single example of a gene that, when mutated, increases the likelihood of autism but not of other neurodevelopmental conditions, including intellectual disability.

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Operating room scene shows baby being guided out of belly of mother during a c-section.

Cesarean delivery unlikely to sway child’s likelihood of autism

by  /  17 March 2021

Autism and other neurodevelopmental conditions are more common among children born by C-section than those delivered vaginally, but the procedure itself does not underlie the association, according to a new study.

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Street view in Ricuarte, Colombia

Colombia lags behind in fragile X syndrome testing, diagnosis

by  /  10 March 2021

People with fragile X syndrome in Colombia are diagnosed at age 27, on average, according to the first study to assess diagnosis in the country. By comparison, the average age of fragile X diagnosis in the United States is younger than 4.

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Broken protein bridge linked to Rett syndrome traits

by  /  1 March 2021

Altering a protein linked to Rett syndrome so that it cannot bind to a methylation tag in neurons results in Rett-like traits in mice.

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February 2021
Heatmap plot showing how each genetic variant plus autism group differed.

Copy number variations linked to autism have diverse but overlapping effects

by  /  1 February 2021

People with mutations in distant chromosomal regions often share a range of autism traits, even if they do not meet the diagnostic threshold for autism.

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January 2021
In cortical-striatal assembloids, striatal neurons (magenta) derived from individuals with Phelan-McDermid syndrome fire more frequently than neurons from controls.

Brain ‘assembloids’ capture circuit flaws in syndrome tied to autism

by  /  21 January 2021

Merging 3D clusters of neurons that mimic different brain regions models the atypical electrical activity seen in an autism-related condition.

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