Skip to main content

Spectrum: Autism Research News

topic /


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

July 2011

Playing by the rules

by  /  26 July 2011

Broken rules are even more distressing to people with autism than being excluded, according to a new study.


Cognition and behavior: SHANK1 mutant mice keep quiet

by  /  26 July 2011

Mice lacking SHANK1, a member of a family of autism-associated proteins, communicate less with their mothers and potential mates than controls do, according to a study published 9 June in PLoS One.


Clinical research: Antidepressant use in pregnancy linked to autism

by  /  22 July 2011

Taking antidepressants while pregnant may slightly increase the risk of having a child with autism, reports a study published 4 July in the Archives of General Psychiatry.


Wendy Chung: Genetic sleuth is advocate for families

by  /  21 July 2011

Wendy Chung planned to spend her career in a research lab, identifying rare pathologies. But life had other plans for her.


Genetics: Small duplications, deletions implicated in autism

by  /  20 July 2011

Small duplications and deletions of chromosomal regions that include genes needed for the development of the nervous system are more common in individuals with autism than in controls, according to a study published in the June issue of the European Journal of Human Genetics.


Insights for autism from Angelman syndrome

by , ,  /  19 July 2011

Deletions or duplications of the UBE3A gene lead to both Angelman syndrome and some cases of autism, respectively. Studying the effects of altered gene dosage in this region will provide insights into brain defects and suggest targets for therapies for both disorders, says expert Benjamin Philpot.


Molecular mechanisms: Autism mutants cause cell stress

by  /  19 July 2011

Some autism-associated mutations activate a stress response that could lead to symptoms of the disorder, according to a study published 3 June in Cell Death and Disease.


Mouse study raises questions about fragile X treatment

by  /  18 July 2011

Blocking a chemical messenger — a much-touted approach to treating fragile X syndrome — is unlikely to completely reverse symptoms of the disorder, according to a provocative new study. The results, published in May in Behavioural Brain Research, show only modest behavioral improvements with the approach.


Cognition and behavior: Study questions claims of visual acuity in autism

by  /  15 July 2011

Individuals with autism do not have so-called ‘eagle-eyed’ vision as reported by some studies, according to research published 10 June in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.


Experts critique statistics, conclusion of autism twin study

by  /  14 July 2011

A new study of twins proposes the controversial claim that environmental influences during early development are just as, if not more, important than genetics. But the findings are not substantially different from those of previous twin studies, however, and some experts are critical of the study’s statistics.