TOPIC

Environment

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

October 2010
Opinion

Speed trap

by  /  13 October 2010

New DNA tests for fragile X syndrome are quick, but also raise ethical questions: they pick up abnormalities in some babies who won’t develop symptoms until adulthood, if at all.

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News

New tests for fragile X promise routine screening

by  /  11 October 2010

A new wave of genetic tests for fragile X syndrome, the leading cause of inherited mental retardation and the most common genetic cause of autism, may make it possible to routinely screen pregnant women and newborns for the syndrome.

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Opinion

Science by zodiac

by  /  5 October 2010

Research has hinted that the season of a child’s birth may play some role in his or her risk of developing various neuropsychiatric disorders. But it’s the season of conception that really matters, a new study suggests.

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September 2010
News

Molecular mechanisms: Autism brains show ‘angry’ microglia

by  /  27 September 2010

A study of postmortem tissue shows that microglia, cells that provide immune protection to the brain, are altered in the brains of individuals with autism.

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News

Studies tie fragile X syndrome to famous cancer pathway

by  /  23 September 2010

A drug that interferes with a biochemical pathway important in cancer can reverse some brain defects in mouse models of fragile X syndrome, according to a study published 11 August in the Journal of Neuroscience.

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Opinion

The power of talk

by  /  21 September 2010

In order to understand the interaction between genes and environment in autism, researchers in different disciplines will have to move back and forth between those two realms, stretching out of their intellectual comfort zones. But if the mood at an interdisciplinary workshop two weeks ago is any indication, that challenge is also a source of excitement.

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August 2010
News

Social factors may drive the spike in autism cases

by  /  27 August 2010

Changes in diagnostic practices, more active neighborhood networks, and an increase in the number of older parents may all contribute to the massive rates of autism in California, says a group of social scientists. But the numbers still don’t add up.

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News

Norway baby study expected to yield insights into autism

by  /  20 August 2010

The Autism Birth Cohort, based on data from 100,000 Norwegian children and their families, aims to uncover genetic and environmental factors contributing to the disorder.

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News

Brain’s adaptability begins at single synapse

by  /  10 August 2010

Researchers have uncovered an important molecular piece of a learning mechanism that occurs at the junction between neurons. The findings, which may help understand how the brain is disrupted in disorders such as autism, appear in the 24 June issue of Neuron.

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Opinion

Simple screens

by  /  10 August 2010

In the not-too-distant future, we may be able to diagnose toddlers with autism using a simple clinical test — based on voice patterns, blood or even urine.

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