TOPIC

Environment

From parental age to infection during pregnancy, environmental elements can influence autism risk.

January 2011
News

Brain-wave patterns bolster mouse models of autism

by  /  25 January 2011

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.

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Opinion

Public options

by  /  24 January 2011

As autism rates rise, so do health care costs for the disorder. Despite federal programs, some children with autism are falling through the cracks in the health care system.

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News

Molecular mechanisms: Newborns boost immune theory of autism

by  /  21 January 2011

At birth, children with autism have lower blood levels of a class of antibody produced in response to infection compared with healthy controls, according to a report published in December in Autism Research.

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News

New drug rescues function in fragile X syndrome

by  /  20 January 2011

A new drug appears to relieve symptoms of fragile X syndrome by blocking the over-production of a key protein in a subset of people with the disorder, according to a 6 January study in Science Translational Medicine.

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News

IQ scores not a good measure of function in autism

by  /  6 January 2011

Most studies define high-functioning children as those with an IQ above 70 or 80, but this is problematic for a number of reasons, say some scientists. The assumption underlying the use of high IQ as a synonym for high functioning is suspect because social and communicative abilities may have a far greater impact on an individual’s daily interactions.

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News

High-tech national project set to trace brain’s connections

by  /  4 January 2011

Over the next five years, dozens of researchers funded by the $40 million ‘NIH Human Connectome Project’ will map the circuits of the human brain, tracing neural pathways and learning how different regions work together in synchrony.

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December 2010
News

Scientists capture microglia’s role in brain connectivity

by  /  20 December 2010

Scientists are changing their minds about the role of microglia, the brain’s strongest and most agile soldiers against damage and infection. In healthy brains, microglia help build and eliminate synapses, the junctions between neurons, according to a study published 2 November in PLoS Biology.

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News

Genetics: Gene that controls methylation linked to autism

by  /  17 December 2010

A gene involved in epigenetics — regulation of gene expression by modifying DNA, but without altering the sequence — is associated with autism in families that have only one child with the disorder, according to a study published in November.

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News

Risk gene for autism rewires the brain

by  /  1 December 2010

A variant of the autism risk gene CNTNAP2 may alter the brain to emphasize connections between nearby regions and diminish those between more distant ones, according to a study published 3 November in Science Translational Medicine.

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November 2010
News

Modeling captures mouse habitat’s effect on neurons

by  /  19 November 2010

Computerized three-dimensional modeling shows nerve cell abnormalities in the hippocampus of fragile X mice — and suggests the importance of raising experimental mice in more natural habitats, according to a poster presented Wednesday at the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in San Diego.

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