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Spectrum: Autism Research News

Tag: pregnancy

March 2012

Genetics: Autism risk higher in full than in half siblings

by  /  23 March 2012

Full siblings are twice as likely as half siblings to share a diagnosis of autism, according to a short report published 28 February in Molecular Psychiatry. The results suggest that genetic factors play an important role in the risk of developing autism, the researchers say.

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Molecular mechanisms: Maternal infection linked to autism

by  /  21 March 2012

Molecules generated by an immune reaction in pregnant rats affect the brains of their offspring, leading to changes in gene expression, according to a study published 30 January in Brain, Behavior and Immunity.

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Stunted growth

by  /  2 March 2012

Scientists worry that funding cuts to the National Children’s Study, an ambitious effort to track 100,000 children in the United States from before birth through age 21, may harm recruitment efforts.

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Swedish study dissects autism risk in immigrants

by  /  1 March 2012

Immigrating to another country during pregnancy appears to boost the risk of having a child who has low-functioning autism, according to a comprehensive, population-based study in Sweden. The research was published online 23 February in the British Journal of Psychiatry.

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February 2012

Cognition and behavior: Contaminant acts with autism gene

by  /  28 February 2012

A commonly used flame retardant may lead to deficits in sociability, learning and memory in healthy female mice and those that model Rett syndrome, according to a study published 15 February in Human Molecular Genetics. The effects are different in Rett syndrome models compared with healthy mice, suggesting gene-environment interactions.

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Maternal anti-brain antibodies may play a role in autism

by , ,  /  21 February 2012

Maternal antibodies that attack fetal brain proteins could underlie some cases of autism, says immunologist Betty Diamond.

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January 2012

Fishing for folate

by  /  27 January 2012

A new study claims that low folate levels contribute to autism and offers a tenuous explanation for the low levels.

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Clinical research: Twin study links low birth weight to autism

by  /  6 January 2012

When twins differ in their diagnosis of autism, the twin with the lower birth weight is about three times more likely to develop the disorder than his or her sibling, according to a study published in the December issue of Psychological Medicine.

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Book review: Autism’s twisted immune links, untangled

by  /  2 January 2012

Research on the immune system’s link to autism and other psychiatric disorders is rich and varied — from massive epidemiological studies of twins and pregnant women, to the screening of immune molecules in amniotic fluid and postmortem studies of brain inflammation. In his new book, Paul Patterson lays out this complicated work clearly and concisely, with little editorializing.

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December 2011
Yellow and orange molecular model of the secondary structure of interleukin-10, a small protein known as a cytokine that plays an important regulatory role in the body's immune system.

Studies of early development reveal immune link to autism

by  /  15 December 2011

The molecular soldiers of the immune system may contribute to many cases of autism, according to a diverse array of studies published in the past few months.

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