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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.

March 2022
Neurons with low levels of ASH1L have fewer and shorter projections

Drug boosts growth of neurons deficient in autism-linked protein

by  /  25 March 2022

The neurons, which have low levels of the gene ASH1L, sprout more branches after the treatment.

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Web-based autism screening service raises a host of concerns

by  /  21 March 2022

Neurona Health, a company in San Francisco, California, backed away from part of its newly launched services after Spectrum started reporting about them.

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Autism model mice develop typical social and motor behaviors after drug treatment

by  /  9 March 2022

The drug suppresses an overactive signaling pathway implicated in tuberous sclerosis complex.

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A family of Macaques aat the Yerkes National Primate Research Center Field Station, Lawrenceville, Georgia.

Macaques’ social skills tied to variation in autism-linked genes

by  /  7 March 2022

Genetics strongly influences some aspects of the monkey’s social behavior, including tendencies to solicit grooming and sit or play alone.

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February 2022
Micrograph of neurons with excess neurons due to excess MECP2 expression.

Protein complex points to new route to Rett syndrome

by  /  18 February 2022

Mutations in a newly identified protein complex that interacts with the Rett protein also lead to a Rett-like condition in mice, researchers say.

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Top autism candidate gene tied to newly identified syndrome

by  /  17 February 2022

Mutations in the autism-linked gene PAX5 underlie a range of traits, including developmental delay, intellectual disability, seizures and autism.

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Conceptual illustration of female brain versus male brain.

Searching for the biology behind autism’s sex bias

by  /  11 February 2022

The fact that autism seems to affect more boys than girls is often attributed to diagnostic gaps, but the skew remains largely unexplained. Some scientists are turning to basic biology for answers.

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Immune gene tied to social behavior in autism mouse model

by  /  3 February 2022

Activating the immune system blunts social behavior in mice missing a copy of the autism-linked gene SHANK3, according to a new study. Blocking TRPV4, which encodes an ion channel involved in inflammatory responses, can reverse this effect.

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Three autism-linked genes converge on tweaks to cells’ timing

by  /  2 February 2022

Mutations in all three accelerate the maturation of inhibitory neurons, which could upset the brain’s balance of excitation and inhibition early in development.

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Enrichment lessens Angelman-like traits in male mice

by  /  2 February 2022

Model animals don’t develop the usual behavioral and motor problems when reared in an enclosure containing exercise wheels, toys and treats.

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