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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.

November 2010

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


True blood

by  /  1 November 2010

Early data suggest that it is possible to identify autism by looking at gene expression in the blood. But it’s going to take more work to prove it.


Cognition and behavior: Study suggests categories of autism

by  /  1 November 2010

People with autism may belong to one of four distinct categories based on their medical history, according to a study published in the October Autism Research.

October 2010

Genetics: Database of 2,000 families with autism debuts

by  /  29 October 2010

The Simons Simplex Collection (SSC), a database of genetic and clinical information from families that include one child with autism, has gathered data from more than 2,000 different families, researchers report in the October issue of Neuron.