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Genes

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

November 2010
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Mouse models gene-environment interactions in autism

by  /  15 November 2010

The gene-environment interactions that are thought to contribute to many cases of autism can now be explored in a mouse model, according to a poster presented Sunday at the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in San Diego.

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Genetics: Two families link new gene to autism

by  /  15 November 2010

Researchers have narrowed down a genetic region associated with autism to one protein, cadherin 8, that helps bind cells together, according to a study published online in October in the Journal of Medical Genetics. This is the first time CDH8, the gene that encodes this protein, has been associated with autism.

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Stem cells reveal neuroligin’s role in development

by  /  15 November 2010

Stem cell studies show that a mutation in the neuroligin-4 gene disrupts the normal development of synapses, the junction between neurons, according to unpublished data shown Sunday at the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in San Diego.

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Brain activity may protect children from autism

by  /  14 November 2010

Siblings of children with autism who show no signs of the disorder may be compensating with increased activity in two brain regions that detect social cues, according to results presented yesterday at the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in San Diego.

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Deer mouse model suggests combination therapy for autism

by  /  14 November 2010

A combination approach may hold promise for treating repetitive motor behaviors, such as those seen in people with autism, according to research presented yesterday at the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in San Diego.

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Researchers debut new mouse model for Rett syndrome

by  /  11 November 2010

A new mouse model for Rett syndrome shows that disrupting a single brain messenger can produce nearly all of the characteristic features of the syndrome, researchers report today in Nature.

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Utah pedigree study pegs chromosome 15 for autism risk

by  /  10 November 2010

Chromosome 15 may harbor one or more risk genes for autism, according to a new study of multigenerational inheritance in Utah. Researchers have gathered data on family pedigrees stretching back as far as nine generations, with up to five family members affected by the disorder.

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Molecular mechanisms: Maternal infection linked to schizophrenia in mice

by  /  9 November 2010

Infection early in pregnancy is more harmful to the fetus than at later stages, triggering brain and behavioral changes in the offspring similar to those seen in people with schizophrenia, according to two mouse studies published in October. A third study suggests that exercise can mitigate some of these effects.

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Autism drug’s usefulness depends on genetic profile

by  /  8 November 2010

An antipsychotic drug often prescribed to treat irritability in children with autism may be more helpful — and cause fewer side effects — depending on an individual’s genetic make-up.

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Genetics: Gene family linked to language and autism

by  /  5 November 2010

Loss of activity of FOXP1, a member of a family of genes that regulate gene expression, leads to general behavioral defects, including delays in language, according to a study published in November in The American Journal of Human Genetics.

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