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Spectrum: Autism Research News

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

January 2012
Three brown mice in a restricted space in a lab experiment..

Cognition and behavior: Mouse models human Rett mutation

by  /  3 January 2012

A mouse model of Rett syndrome that mimics a mutation seen in people shows many features of the disorder, such as hand clasping, according to a study published 27 November in Nature Neuroscience.


Book review: Autism’s twisted immune links, untangled

by  /  2 January 2012

Research on the immune system’s link to autism and other psychiatric disorders is rich and varied — from massive epidemiological studies of twins and pregnant women, to the screening of immune molecules in amniotic fluid and postmortem studies of brain inflammation. In his new book, Paul Patterson lays out this complicated work clearly and concisely, with little editorializing.

December 2011

Genetics: Focus on 2q23.1 region reveals autism candidate gene

by  /  23 December 2011

MBD5, one of 20 genes located in the 2q23.1 chromosomal region, may be responsible for the autism-like syndrome caused by deletions in the region, according to a study published 7 October in the American Journal of Human Genetics.


Rhode Island plans statewide registry for autism research

by  /  22 December 2011

A consortium of autism researchers, advocates and educators in Rhode Island are aiming to harness the advantages of the state’s small size and tight-knit autism community to build the most comprehensive registry for the disorder yet.


Clinical research: Cancer drug could treat Angelman syndrome

by  /  21 December 2011

A cancer drug shows promise as a treatment for Angelman syndrome, according to a study published today in Nature.


Quick test for fragile X may be ideal for developing nations

by  /  21 December 2011

Dried spots of blood taken from infants at birth can help clinicians screen for fragile X syndrome in countries with limited resources, according to a study published 11 October in Genetic Testing and Molecular Biomarkers.


Adult decisions

by  /  20 December 2011

A new report outlines priorities for studying adults with autism, ranging from designing diagnostic tests to the most effective models of long-term care.


New scheme ramps up efforts to aggregate autism data

by  /  19 December 2011

The nation’s largest database of autism research is about to get even bigger, thanks to a partnership between the National Database for Autism Research, a repository of data from 25,000 participants, and the Autism Genetic Research Exchange, a database of 2,500 families.


Model empathy

by  /  16 December 2011

Rats possess a surprising sense of empathy, according to research published last week in Science. The findings highlight one more reason why rats, with their complex repertoire of social behavior, may be well suited for autism studies.


Molecular mechanisms: Master regulator altered in autism

by  /  16 December 2011

SP1, a protein that regulates the expression of several autism candidate genes, could increase risk of the disorder by simultaneously altering the expression of a number of the genes, according to a study published 24 October in Biological Psychiatry.