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Genes

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

November 2010
News

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in the neuroligin-4 gene disrupts the normal development of synapses, the junction between neurons, according to unpublished data shown Sunday at the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in San Diego.

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News

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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News

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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News

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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News

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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News

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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News

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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News

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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Opinion

All in the family

by  /  5 November 2010

A new study raises provocative questions about the definition of recurrence in families of children with autism.

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News

Mutant mouse pins PSD-95 in Williams syndrome

by  /  2 November 2010

Mice missing a large protein at the junction between neurons show motor impairments, anxiety and increased social behaviors, according to a study in the American Journal of Psychiatry. The protein, postsynaptic density-95 or PSD-95, is part of a key molecular bridge connecting other proteins linked to autism.

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