A protein linked to language development, FOXP2, regulates the autism candidate gene MET, according to a study published 10 August in the Journal of Neuroscience.
Spectrum: Autism Research News
Rare or common, inherited or spontaneous, mutations form the core of autism risk.
Screening for metabolic disorders in children with autism is not cost-effective, according to a study published 7 July in PLoS One. The researchers argue instead for careful individual clinical analysis.
Some of the same genetic risk factors may underlie both autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, according to a study published 10 August in Science Translational Medicine.
Children with autism who carry a certain variant of a protein involved in inhibitory signaling have more severe symptoms than those with another variant of the same gene, according to a study published 24 July in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.
MeCP2, the protein missing in people with Rett syndrome, enhances learning and memory by binding to key genes and either activating or inhibiting their expression, according to a study published 17 July in Nature Neuroscience. Adding a phosphate to the protein in response to neuronal activity releases MeCP2 from these genes, the study found.
Researchers are creating a population of inbred lab mice with the potential to produce thousands of genetically diverse strains. Experiments using the first of these mice are published in the August issue of Genomic Research.
The brains of teenagers with autism and their unaffected siblings respond similarly to both happy and neutral faces, whereas those of controls seem to prefer happy ones, according to a study published 12 July in Translational Psychiatry.
Including more females in autism research studies will aid the search for genetic and environmental susceptibility factors for the disorder, says genetic psychiatrist Lauren Weiss.