Skip to main content

Spectrum: Autism Research News

topic /

Genes

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

August 2009

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.

Comments

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.

Comments
July 2009

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.

Comments

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.

Comments

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.

Comments
June 2009

Study links autism to stem cell development

by  /  23 June 2009

The molecular defects that cause some cases of autism may arise during the development of neuronal stem cells, according to a new theory bolstered by several independent animal and human studies.

Comments
May 2009

Brain images uncover candidate genes for schizophrenia, autism

by  /  12 May 2009

Applying an emerging technique that combines genetic data and brain scans, researchers have identified two new genes involved in schizophrenia. The method, called ‘imaging genetics’, holds promise for linking genes to brain function in complex psychiatric disorders, including autism.

Comments

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.

Comments
April 2009

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.

Comments
March 2009

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.

Comments