Better performance on intelligence tests that measure spatial rather than verbal ability is inherited in people with autism, according to a paper published online in October in Human Genetics.
Spectrum: Autism Research News
The brains of children with autism show differences in gene expression compared with those of healthy controls, especially in genes that control cell growth. Adults with autism also have aberrant gene expression, but in different pathways, researchers reported Sunday at the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in San Diego.
People with autism have structural differences in the temporal cortex — a brain region involved in sound and language processing — compared with controls, according to a postmortem study presented Monday at the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in San Diego.
Blocking the expression of the MeCP2 gene decreases the number of synapses, the junctions between neurons. It also prevents synapses from scaling up their activity to make up for the loss, according to unpublished data shown yesterday at the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in San Diego.
Loss of activity of FOXP1, a member of a family of genes that regulate gene expression, leads to general behavioral defects, including delays in language, according to a study published in November in The American Journal of Human Genetics.
Researchers are exploring the iPad and other touch-screen devices for their potential to help people with autism communicate more effectively. Until studies prove their efficacy, however, some experts hesitate to recommend their use.
Children with Williams syndrome are chatty, have rich vocabularies and love to tell stories. Yet they have trouble learning certain complex rules of grammar, according to a study published in the Journal of Speech, Language and Hearing Research.