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Genes

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

October 2009
News

Mitochondrial gene variants protect from autism

by  /  18 October 2009

Two variants in a gene needed for the cell’s energy balance may protect the carriers from autism, according to an unpublished study presented today at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in Chicago.

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News

Cancer pathway yields mouse model for autism

by  /  18 October 2009

Mice missing FKBP12, a gene involved in a cancer pathway, show repetitive behavior and an impaired ability to socialize with other mice, and could be used to study autism, according to unpublished results presented at a poster session today at the Society for Neuroscience meeting.

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News

Video: “Bad” autism animal models

by  /  18 October 2009

Tracy Bale, associate professor of neuroscience at the University of Pennsylvania, talks about what she calls her “big soapbox issue”: the fallacious idea of a true animal model for a human psychiatric disease — and the pitfalls of over-interpreting rodent behavior.

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News

Synaptic proteins help neurons grow

by  /  17 October 2009

Proteins associated with autism mediate the growth of spiny neuronal projections, called dendrites, that form brain circuits in early life, according to unpublished research presented today at the Society for Neuroscience meeting.

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September 2009
News / Profiles

Michael Wigler: Applying simple logic to complex genetics

by  /  18 September 2009

Interested more in ideas than in dominating a crowded field, Michael Wigler decided to apply his expertise in cancer genetics to studying poorly understood features of autism.

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August 2009
News

New autism risk genes may bolster fetal testosterone theory

by  /  25 August 2009

A team of British researchers has garnered some of the first genetic evidence supporting their theory that sex hormones play a role in the development of autism.

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News

Gene ties trust hormone to Williams syndrome and autism

by  /  3 August 2009

Studying the relatively well-defined genetics of Williams syndrome may help unravel the poorly understood genetic and neurobiological roots of autism, researchers say.

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July 2009
News

Schizophrenia risk genes tied to immunity, autism

by  /  24 July 2009

Several new genetic variants associated with schizophrenia lie in regions important for immune function and associated with autism. This suggests that both disorders stem partly from abnormal activation of the immune system, say some researchers.

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News

Studies of brain structure boost ‘connectivity theory’ of autism

by  /  21 July 2009

The brains of people with autism have structural abnormalities that disrupt normal connections between brain regions and impede the flow of information across the brain. That’s the conclusion of a 20-year-old theory supported by several new studies.

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News

New autism gene points to cellular calcium imbalance

by  /  14 July 2009

A common variant of a gene called CACNA1G — which makes a channel that helps regulate calcium flow between cells — may increase the risk of developing autism, according to research published in Molecular Psychiatry.

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