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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.

August 2011

Language gene regulates autism candidate

by  /  25 August 2011

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.


New genetic map of developmental disability

by  /  24 August 2011

By comparing the DNA of thousands of children who have developmental disabilities to that of controls, researchers have identified numerous mutations likely to contribute to disease.


Clinical research: Metabolic disorders rare in autism

by  /  23 August 2011

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.


Attention deficit, autism share genetic risk factors

by  /  22 August 2011

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.


Genetics: Gene variants can predict autism severity

by  /  19 August 2011

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.


Molecular mechanisms: MeCP2 regulated by chemical switch

by  /  17 August 2011

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.


Scientists aim to create scores of diverse mouse strains

by  /  17 August 2011

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.


Cognition and behavior: Response to emotions linked to autism

by  /  16 August 2011

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.


Fair representation for the fairer sex in autism research

by  /  16 August 2011

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.


Related risk

by  /  11 August 2011

A complicated interplay between a certain genetic variant and autism, schizophrenia and rheumatoid arthritis adds one more intriguing correlation to the growing list of autism risk factors.