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Spectrum: Autism Research News

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Genes

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

September 2011

Three-dimensional re-creation reveals dendrite shapes

by  /  28 September 2011

Researchers have created detailed three-dimensional reconstructions of the numerous complex branches of dendrites, the signal-receiving ends of neurons.

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Cognition and behavior: Mutant mice show social deficits

by  /  28 September 2011

Mice lacking a gene that regulates an important signaling pathway in the central nervous system have severe autism-like social deficits, including little interest in nurturing their offspring and problems with learning and memory.

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Insights for autism from Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease

by  /  27 September 2011

Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease and autism are both associated with alterations in the number of copies of certain genetic regions, mutations in multiple candidate genes and with both inherited and spontaneous mutations, notes human geneticist James Lupski.

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Genetics: Protein that regulates serotonin linked to autism

by  /  27 September 2011

A protein that regulates the development of serotonin-producing neurons in the brain is associated with autism.

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Brain activity triggers widespread epigenetic changes

by  /  26 September 2011

Methylation marks were thought to be permanent features of the genome, but a new study challenges that idea.

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Model systems

by  /  23 September 2011

The more we find out about human genetics, the more valuable model organisms are likely to become, say autism researchers.  

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Clinical research: Men may not outgrow autism-like behaviors

by  /  23 September 2011

Boys who have autism-like social deficits at 2 years of age retain about the same level of social impairment when they reach age 20.

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Social cues from bodies in motion lost to those with autism

by  /  22 September 2011

Two new studies suggest that people with autism don’t all have trouble detecting the motion of people and animals. What they do struggle with is picking up social information from bodies in motion.

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Molecular mechanisms: Fragile X brains have altered synapses

by  /  21 September 2011

Neurons in a mouse model of fragile X syndrome make more connections during a critical period in development compared with controls, but are slower to respond to signals.

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Statistical trap

by  /  20 September 2011

Half of behavioral neuroscience studies published in top-tier journals make a crucial statistical error.

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