Animal research hints that sex hormones may be responsible for the gender bias in autism. More research is needed in people to back this up, says a new review.
Spectrum: Autism Research News
Genetic syndromes associated with autism are increasingly being diagnosed in utero because of techniques that can identify subtle mutations in the genome. But the technology is ahead of the ethical debate on whether and how to inform parents about mutations with unknown effects.
Infection with swine flu in early pregnancy causes inflammation in the placenta, and raises the risk of schizophrenia and autism in the offspring, according to a study published in January in Neuropharmacology.
High levels of serotonin in the womb may up the risk of autism in the child, according to a study published in December in the American Journal of Medical Genetics.
Mice exposed to an epilepsy drug show several features of autism, including abnormal social interactions, repetitive behaviors and patterns of super-fast brain waves, called gamma oscillations, according to a study published 15 December in Biological Psychiatry.
At birth, children with autism have lower blood levels of a class of antibody produced in response to infection compared with healthy controls, according to a report published in December in Autism Research.