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Spectrum: Autism Research News

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

July 2011

Clinical research: Infertile women should be tested for fragile X

by  /  6 July 2011

Women with a mild version of primary ovarian insufficiency, a disorder that mimics the symptoms of menopause, should be tested for a mutation that can lead to fragile X syndrome, according to a study published 15 June in Human Reproduction.


Studying infant sibs of children with autism spectrum disorder

by  /  5 July 2011

Studying the infant siblings of children who have autism to identify early signs of the disorder is expected to have enormous impact on the field from a clinical and a basic science standpoint, says psychologist Karen Dobkins.


Genetics: Autism samples show altered gene expression in blood

by  /  5 July 2011

Blood cells from individuals who have autism produce less-than-normal amounts of SHANK3 and NLGN3 proteins, according to a study published 26 May in Molecular Autism.


Reclassification of Rett syndrome diagnosis stirs concerns

by  /  4 July 2011

A plan by an American Psychiatric Association revision committee to remove Rett syndrome from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) has sparked concern among some parents and researchers. But proponents of the change say the plan has been widely misunderstood, and their goal is better treatment for people with the neurodevelopmental disorder.


Cognition and behavior: Brain overgrowth in autism ends early

by  /  1 July 2011

The rapid brain growth seen in children with autism occurs early in life, before children reach 2 years of age, according to a study published in the May issue of Archives of General Psychiatry.

June 2011

Imperfect mouse may illuminate autism syndrome

by  /  30 June 2011

A new mouse model of 15q duplication syndrome, a genetic disorder associated with autism, falls short of recapitulating the symptoms of the syndrome. But it nonetheless points to a cluster of well-known risk genes as the most likely culprits.


Genetic roadmap

by  /  28 June 2011

Sequencing an individual’s entire genome may be the key to tailoring treatments for heterogeneous disorders, suggests a study published 15 June in Science Translational Medicine.


Molecular mechanisms: Some synaptic proteins travel in groups

by  /  28 June 2011

Soluble proteins band together into temporary complexes to travel to the tips of neurons, according to a study published 12 May in Neuron. The study provides the first evidence-based model for slow, directed neuronal transport, answering a long-standing question in the field.


Diagnostic tests for autism may miss many girls

by  /  27 June 2011

The symptoms of Asperger syndrome look slightly different in girls than in boys, according to a new study. However, gender differences in autism are poorly understood, and the results are preliminary, say other researchers.


Clinical research: Prenatal vitamins lower risk of autism

by  /  24 June 2011

Taking prenatal vitamins for three months before conception and four weeks after could lower the risk of having a child with autism, particularly for women who carry certain genetic variants, according to a study published in the July issue of Epidemiology.