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Genes

Rare or common, inherited or spontaneous, mutations form the core of autism risk.

February 2021
four figures overlapping in red and blue with multi-colored genetic info
News

Common variants link autism, ADHD, Tourette syndrome

by  /  2 February 2021

Genetic variants that contribute to autism may also be involved in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and Tourette syndrome, according to a new study.

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Heatmap plot showing how each genetic variant plus autism group differed.
News

Copy number variations linked to autism have diverse but overlapping effects

by  /  1 February 2021

People with mutations in distant chromosomal regions often share a range of autism traits, even if they do not meet the diagnostic threshold for autism.

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January 2021
News / Toolbox

Method may improve safety of gene therapies targeting the brain

by  /  28 January 2021

A new approach for delivering gene therapy to the brain reduces nerve damage in primates and could help make gene therapies for conditions related to autism safer.

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Mouse brain slices shown in red
News

Vasopressin relieves social deficits in an autism mouse model

by  /  25 January 2021

Mice missing a copy of MAGEL2 have trouble discerning between a familiar mouse and an unfamiliar one; treating them with the social hormone vasopressin reverses this deficit.

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Molecular model of histone protein which wraps up DNA strands.
News

New condition hints at structural protein’s role in autism

by  /  22 January 2021

Mutations in genes that encode a histone, which gives structure to chromosomes, can lead to developmental delay and congenital anomalies.

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DNMT3A protein attaches a methyl group tag onto the DNA base cytosine.
News

Autism-related conditions converge on same loss of DNA tags

by  /  20 January 2021

Mutations in the autism-linked gene DNMT3A lead to the behaviors and gene-expression changes seen in different neurodevelopmental conditions.

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Illustration of firing neurons.
News

Autism protein may shape neuronal firing patterns

by  /  14 January 2021

Cells with excess UBE3A, an autism-linked protein, have atypical firing properties that can be corrected by limiting the protein’s levels, according to new research.

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News

Lost sleep sparks lasting social problems in SHANK3 mice

by  /  14 January 2021

Sleep disruption early in life has long-lasting consequences for mice missing a copy of the autism-linked gene SHANK3.

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News

New gene therapy methods deliver promise

by  /  14 January 2021

Two unpublished studies detail improved techniques for delivering gene therapies to the brain.

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Mouse with her pup
News

Malfunctioning neurons mute sound processing in mouse model of Rett syndrome

by  /  14 January 2021

Female mice missing a copy of the autism-linked gene MECP2 in a specific set of inhibitory neurons have a hard time heeding pups’ calls and herding litters.

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