Researchers are exploring the possibility that gastrointestinal bacteria may influence brain development and play a role in autism.
From parental age to infection during pregnancy, environmental elements can influence autism risk.
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.
Six strains of mice lacking a gene associated with fragile X syndrome show radically different behaviors though they share the same mutation, researchers reported in January in Autism Research.
Two new studies of families carrying glitches on a region of chromosome 16, which has been strongly associated with autism, reveal the wide range of effects caused by the variant and narrow the list of possible culprit genes.
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.