Taking antidepressants while pregnant may slightly increase the risk of having a child with autism, reports a study published 4 July in the Archives of General Psychiatry.
Spectrum: Autism Research News
Researchers have upended a central tenet of biology by showing that there are more than 10,000 sites in the human genome where RNA sequences do not match the DNA sequences from which they are transcribed. The findings were published 19 May in Science.
What’s known about the genetics of autism supports the ‘snowflake’ hypothesis — that the molecular underpinnings of disease are essentially unique from individual to individual — says human geneticist Brett Abrahams.
The placenta regulates the levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin in the brains of mice at a key stage in embryonic development, according to a study published 21 April in Nature. The results suggest that the fetal environment can influence the long-term mental health of children, including whether they later develop autism or schizophrenia.
Mice that lack the gene for integrin β3, or ITGB3 — which regulates the levels of serotonin in the blood — groom themselves frequently and show less interest in stranger mice compared with controls, according to a study published in February in Autism Research as part of a special issue on mouse models in autism.