Skip to main content

Spectrum: Autism Research News

topic /


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

November 2011

Researchers map genetic variation in mice

by  /  9 November 2011

Researchers have sequenced 17 laboratory mice and mapped 56.7 million single-base DNA variants in their genomes, according to a study published 15 September in Nature. A companion paper in the same issue identifies more than 700,000 structural variants, which are insertions, deletions or other modifications of DNA.


Autism tests struggle to balance accuracy and speed

by  /  8 November 2011

Two studies published in the past month highlight the challenges in balancing the accuracy of autism diagnosis with cost-effectiveness and speed.


Young brains

by  /  4 November 2011

A large, centralized bank of brain tissue from young people could greatly accelerate autism research. Thanks to a growing interest from nonprofit organizations, the idea is finally gaining momentum.


Genetics: Size of 22q13 deletion predicts clinical features

by  /  4 November 2011

In a study of people missing an autism-linked region on chromosome 22, researchers have found that the larger the deletion, the more likely the individual is to have severe symptoms, from motor and speech delays to a large head and fleshy hands.


Sequencing technique optimal for postmortem brains

by  /  2 November 2011

A technique for detecting gene expression that detects short RNA messages is better suited than traditional methods for analyzing postmortem brain tissue, according to a study published 10 September in BMC Genomics.


Molecular mechanisms: Fragile X drugs could treat autism

by  /  1 November 2011

Postmortem brains from adults with autism have lower-than-normal levels of the fragile X mental retardation protein, which is missing in individuals with fragile X syndrome.

October 2011

Cognition and behavior: Mouse model has autism-like brain

by  /  28 October 2011

A well-studied mouse model of autism has a smaller-than-normal volume in several autism-associated brain regions.


Machine-learning tool offers rapid autism diagnosis

by  /  27 October 2011

A five-minute online questionnaire can diagnose autism with as much accuracy as the so-called gold standard diagnostic tests, according to unpublished findings presented Tuesday at the Autism Consortium 2011 symposium in Boston.


Genetics: Large analysis pins down schizophrenia regions

by  /  26 October 2011

A massive association study links five new genetic regions to schizophrenia and implicates MIR137, a regulatory RNA that plays a role in neuron development, in the disorder.


Later-born children at higher risk for autism

by  /  24 October 2011

In families that have more than one child with autism, the middle children, particularly those born second, have a higher risk of developing autism than other children in the family, according to a study published 19 October in PLoS One. In families that have only one child with autism, however, risk of the disorder rises with each additional birth, the study found.