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Spectrum: Autism Research News

TOPIC

Genes

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

April 2011

Genetics: New autism mouse reveals candidate gene

by  /  6 April 2011

A new mouse model for autism has obsessive behaviors and is less social and emits fewer vocalizations than controls, according to a study published 17 March in Behavioral Brain Research. These features could be be the result of much higher levels of FAM46, a gene of unknown function that may be involved in signaling between cells.

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Seeking counsel

by  /  5 April 2011

Practical and ethical challenges in translational research could be better overcome if clinical researchers were to add genetic counselors to their teams, a new report argues.

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Genetics: Deep sequencing reveals rare mutations

by  /  5 April 2011

Rare mutations with strong effects play a key role in autism and schizophrenia, according to a study published in February in PLoS Genetics. The study identifies rare harmful mutations in three candidate genes that are more common in individuals with one of the disorders than in controls.

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Brain activity explains keen visual skills in autism, group says

by  /  4 April 2011

Individuals with autism use more brainpower in regions linked to visual perception, and less in those related to planning thoughts and actions, compared with healthy controls, according to a multi-study analysis published today in Human Brain Mapping.

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Genetics: Clumsiness is inherited with autism

by  /  1 April 2011

Clumsiness in children with autism may result from the same genetic mutations that contribute to the disorder, according to a study published in February in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.

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March 2011

Prenatal tests for autism mutations pose ethical dilemmas

by  /  31 March 2011

Genetic syndromes associated with autism are increasingly being diagnosed in utero because of techniques that can identify subtle mutations in the genome. But the technology is ahead of the ethical debate on whether and how to inform parents about mutations with unknown effects.

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Genetics: Parkinson’s disease gene linked to autism

by  /  30 March 2011

Two children with Asperger syndrome have disruptions in the PARK2 gene — one child has a duplication in the gene whereas the other has a deletion — according to a study published in February in the American Journal of Medical Genetics.

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Genetics: Small duplications identify new schizophrenia gene

by  /  29 March 2011

A neurotransmitter called VIPR2, or vasoactive intestinal peptide receptor, is a candidate gene for schizophrenia and, potentially, autism, according to a study published in February in Nature.

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Could a virus cause autism?

by  /  28 March 2011

An Italian group is investigating the provocative hypothesis that some cases of autism are the result of a viral infection passed from sperm to fetus.

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Face time

by  /  25 March 2011

In the world of Skype, instant messages and tweets, face-to-face interaction is still the best route to discovery, according to an intriguing study published in December.

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