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Spectrum: Autism Research News

TOPIC

Diagnosis

Diagnosing autism is an evolving science but a crucial first step to understanding the disorder.

March 2008

Unraveling mitochondria’s mysterious link to autism

by  /  24 March 2008

In the past two weeks, autism researchers and advocacy groups have been agog with news that autism could be linked to an extremely rare group of metabolic diseases.

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1977 paper on the first autism twin study

by ,  /  19 March 2008

Autism is caused by poor parenting, particularly by ‘frigid’ mothers who reject their children. Such a statement would seem bizarre today. But 30 years ago parents, especially mothers, were blamed for their childrenʼs autism. But then in 1977, one study, published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, single-handedly turned the field around to recognize the importance of genetics.

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February 2008

Mouse models for autism debut

by  /  19 February 2008

Two research groups have achieved an elusive goal: producing mouse models that show distinct social and behavioral abnormalities reminiscent of autism.

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Sense of ‘self’ impaired in autism

by  /  13 February 2008

People with autism struggle to see their own role in social situations. That’s the conclusion from the first study to scan individualsʼ brains while they interact with another person – a technique that could lead to a diagnostic tool.

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Brain growth could be early sign of autism

by  /  11 February 2008

As many as one in every three people with autism develop a macrocephalus, or extremely enlarged head, at some point in their lives, an observation largely accepted as fact. But how or why this happens ― and whether it happens consistently enough to be useful in diagnosing autism ― remains contentious.

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January 2008

Autism and the arts: “Lucy” captures disorder’s complexity

by  /  28 January 2008

Itʼs not often that movies, books and plays represent science accurately, or with a true and empathetic understanding of its complexity.

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December 2007

Leo Kanner’s 1943 paper on autism

by  /  7 December 2007

Donald T. was not like other 5-year-old boys. Leo Kanner knew that the moment he read the 33-page letter from Donaldʼs father that described the boy in obsessive detail as “happiest when he was alone… drawing into a shell and living within himself… oblivious to everything around him.”

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