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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.

October 2010

Researchers probe linguistic patterns of Williams syndrome

by  /  25 October 2010

Children with Williams syndrome are chatty, have rich vocabularies and love to tell stories. Yet they have trouble learning certain complex rules of grammar, according to a study published in the Journal of Speech, Language and Hearing Research.


Genetics: Sibling study delivers new autism candidates

by  /  22 October 2010

People with autism show differences in the levels of various gene products compared with their unaffected siblings, according to a study published online in September in Brain Research.


Cancer protein directs synapse formation, study shows

by  /  21 October 2010

A tumor suppressor best known for its role in colorectal cancer plays a critical role in forming connections between neurons, according to a study in the August 18 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience.


Genetics: New statistical analysis links mutations to disease

by  /  20 October 2010

A new study, published in September in PLOS Genetics, shows the importance of comparing cases to controls when linking mutations to a disorder. The researchers propose a new method of analysis that takes into account the large size of many genes expressed in the brain.


Speaking of genes

by  /  19 October 2010

The loss or delay of language is one of the most common — and most noticeable — features of autism.


Crossover potential?

by  /  18 October 2010

“I don’t know anything about Williams syndrome”: That isn’t exactly how you’d expect a talk at a meeting on the syndrome to begin, but it happened more than once at a symposium on the disorder last week. Could scientific interchange between Williams syndrome and autism researchers benefit people with either condition?


Williams syndrome mouse hones in on genetic culprits

by  /  15 October 2010

A mouse model of Williams syndrome pinpoints a genetic region associated with the social behavior seen in the disorder, and may also yield insights into autism, says researcher Uta Francke, professor emeritus of genetics at Stanford University.


Genetics: Autism and attention deficit share mutations

by  /  15 October 2010

Individuals with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have a higher rate of DNA duplications and deletions, including some in regions linked to autism and schizophrenia, according to a study published 23 October in The Lancet.


Parents share key traits of children with autism

by  /  14 October 2010

Parents and siblings of people with autism have abnormal eye movements and score higher on tests evaluating traits associated with the disorder.


Speed trap

by  /  13 October 2010

New DNA tests for fragile X syndrome are quick, but also raise ethical questions: they pick up abnormalities in some babies who won’t develop symptoms until adulthood, if at all.