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Spectrum: Autism Research News

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Genes

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

January 2020
Teenage girl with headache

Autistic people have increased incidence of neurological problems

by  /  23 January 2020

People with autism have more brain-related health problems, such as headaches and epilepsy, than typical people do.

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Image of many sperm in a mosaic-like pattern

Genetic tests of sperm may forecast odds of autism in children

by  /  16 January 2020

Some men who have an autistic child carry mutations linked to the condition only in their sperm.

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Variants linked to multiple conditions, including autism, tend to appear in genes that influence brain development, as shown in this chart in blue and grey.

Autism may share inherited variants with other psychiatric conditions

by  /  13 January 2020

Some of the inherited variants implicated in autism also increase the odds of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

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People from Asia have high genetic diversity due to historical mixing with many ethnic groups, represented here by different colors. Each horizontal strip includes one more geographical region than the strip above it.

Catalog of Asia’s genetic diversity may aid search for autism variants

by  /  10 January 2020

A new resource details the genetic diversity of people in Asia and may shed light on genetic conditions such as autism.

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Autism’s genetic drivers may differ by sex

by  /  9 January 2020

Autism may stem from a different — and larger — set of genetic mutations in women than it does in men.

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Young man in textured space, environmental factors and genes swarm in and around him

Autism heritability: It probably does not mean what you think it means

by  /  7 January 2020

The question of autism’s heritability is compelling for researchers and laypeople alike, but many people in both groups misunderstand its definition.

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Brain MRIs showing injured blood vessels

Study ties gene active in developing brain to autism

by  /  6 January 2020

Mutations in a gene called ZNF292 lead to a variety of developmental conditions, including autism and intellectual disability.

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December 2019
Mother mouse with pups on white

Multiple genes may conspire to lead to autism traits

by  /  23 December 2019

The many genes implicated in Williams syndrome, a condition related to autism, may all work together to exert their effects on behavior.

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Mice neurons seen in green

Loss of autism gene may lead to pile-up of proteins in neurons

by  /  19 December 2019

A shortage of CUL3, a leading autism gene, may impair social behavior in mice by ramping up protein production in neurons.

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variants across the genome are shown in a wheel shaped visualization

New database catalogs variants in autism genes

by  /  13 December 2019

A new database cross-checks study participants to avoid double-counting variants linked to autism genes.

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