Understanding the basis of sexual dimorphism in autism may not only inform our treatment of this condition, but may translate to therapies for many other mental illnesses, say Nirao Shah and Devanand Manoli.
RORA, an autism candidate gene, encodes a protein that binds more than 2,500 other genes and alters the expression of some of those genes, according to a study published 22 May in Molecular Autism.
A comparison of autism-like behaviors in nearly 10,000 pairs of fraternal twins suggests that girls are somehow protected from the disorder. The findings, published 19 February in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, may partly explain why autism is four times more common in boys than girls.
The brains of men and women with Asperger syndrome are more similar than are those of male and female controls, according to a study published in the January issue of the American Journal of Neuroradiology. The results lend support to the ‘extreme male brain’ theory of autism, the researchers say.
The male offspring of mice subjected to stress during pregnancy can transmit the effects to their own male pups.
Studying the infant siblings of children who have autism to identify early signs of the disorder is expected to have enormous impact on the field from a clinical and a basic science standpoint, says psychologist Karen Dobkins.
Few scientists have a career that spans as wide a spectrum in autism research as Simon Baron-Cohen, professor of developmental psychopathology at the University of Cambridge in the U.K. And fewer still garner effusive compliments from those who don’t agree with them.