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Genes

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

May 2009
News

Visual contrast drives face recognition, study finds

by  /  5 May 2009

The answer to a long-standing mystery in visual neuroscience may also help explain how people with autism perceive faces, according to a study published in March in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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April 2009
News

Amygdala in autistic brains may not adapt to social stimuli

by  /  22 April 2009

The characteristic inability of a person with autism to respond to emotions may stem from sustained arousal in the amygdala, the brain region needed to interpret emotions from facial expressions.

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March 2009
News / Profiles

Raphael Bernier: Decoding the mysteries of the autistic brain

by  /  16 March 2009

In the spring of 2002, as a new graduate student at the University of Washington, Raphael Bernier was charged with introducing his advisor, Geraldine Dawson, before her lecture to a room of about 40 people from the psychology department. To Dawson’s astonishment, Bernier sang his introduction to the tune of On Top of Old Smokey. “[It was] a pretty gutsy thing for a first-year student to do,” Dawson says.

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February 2009
News / Profiles

Daniel Geschwind: After many detours, on the trail of autism’s genetics

by  /  17 February 2009

In the late 1990s, after Daniel Geschwind had established himself as an expert on the genetics of neurological diseases, a personal connection abruptly pulled him into autism research. Since then, he has participated in dozens of studies probing the genetic basis of autism and related neuro-developmental disorders.

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January 2009
News / Profiles

Rebecca Saxe: Fine tuning the theory of mind

by  /  26 January 2009

Rebecca Saxe has been designing brain imaging experiments to study infant brain development, moral judgment and theory of mind in people with autism, who often have trouble grasping othersʼ thoughts.

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Opinion / Viewpoint

The 2003 paper linking neuroligins to autism

by ,  /  12 January 2009

In 2003, Stephane Jamain and his colleagues reached a breakthrough by taking a candidate approach to the X chromosome, and linking members of the neuroligin protein family to autism.

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November 2008
News

A drug that lasts for days

by  /  19 November 2008

A new slow-release form of the drug risperidone ― an antipsychotic given to people with schizophrenia, autism and other psychiatric conditions ― lasts in the blood days instead of hours, according to research presented today at the Society for Neuroscience meeting.

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News

Pathways to plasticity

by  /  18 November 2008

The molecular mechanisms underlying synaptic plasticity ― the ability of neurons to change the strength of their connections ― can vary across different inhibitory neural circuits as much as they can vary across excitatory neural circuits, according to research presented this morning at the Society for Neuroscience meeting.

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News

Lithium’s effect on fragile X mice

by  /  18 November 2008

Lithium treatment reverses some of the behavioral and brain-cell abnormalities in mouse models of fragile X syndrome ― an inherited form of mental retardation that includes learning deficits, aggressiveness, and social withdrawal ― according to research presented today at the Society for Neuroscience meeting.

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News

Altering epigenetic changes

by  /  17 November 2008

Targeting epigenetic mechanisms may offer potential new therapies for people with developmental disorders including autism, researchers said today at the Society for Neuroscience meeting.

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