The older a grandmother was when she bore her grandchild’s mother, the greater the child’s risk of autism, according to a study published last month in PLoS One.
Diagnosing autism is an evolving science but a crucial first step to understanding the disorder.
Variations in two genes needed to form connections between brain cells may be associated with autism spectrum disorder, according to a study published 25 March in Molecular Autism. Some variants in the genes seem to increase susceptibility to autism, whereas others protect children from developing the disorder.
Some brain areas involved in speech are larger and some smaller in children with autism compared with healthy controls, according to a series of imaging studies conducted by a Boston research group.
Researchers are tinkering with mouse models to investigate the function of a protein that helps wire neurons together and that has repeatedly been linked to autism. Three such reports of the protein, neuroligin-1, have appeared this year.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism may have more in common than childhood onset and a few similar symptoms. New research suggests the conditions share genetic roots.
Several studies in the past year in people, mice and honeybees have tied autism to a protein that helps neurons communicate. Problems with the protein, neurexin 1, are associated with a wide range of autistic behaviors, such as impaired social interactions, anxiety and problems with learning and memory.
At 6 months of age, babies who will later develop autism begin to lose some of their social skills and continue to regress until age 3, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry.
With an openness to collaboration and a healthy dose of daring, Evan Eichler has turned his offbeat interest in repeat DNA sequences into a new understanding of how genomes evolve, expediting the search for genes disrupted in autism.