TOPIC

Environment

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

January 2011
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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News

Potential biomarker found in urine of children with autism

by  /  18 November 2010

Young children with autism have high urine levels of a compound that is likely to be a product of gut bacteria, according to a poster presented Tuesday at the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in San Diego.

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News

Immune protein alters development in young mice

by  /  18 November 2010

Pregnant mice injected with the immune protein interleukin-6 give birth to pups that are less social than normal, an effect that results from the over-activation of two pathways critical in neurodevelopment, researchers reported Tuesday at the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in San Diego.

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News

Autism symptoms more severe in younger siblings

by  /  17 November 2010

In families with more than one child diagnosed with autism, younger siblings appear to be more severely affected by the disorder, according to new data presented Tuesday at the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in San Diego.

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