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Genes

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

May 2020
News

Reversing SHANK3 mutations in mice mitigates autism-like traits

by  /  28 May 2020

Correcting an autism gene mutation in fetal mice lessens some autism-like behaviors after birth.

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News

Rare mutations in autism genes tied to intellectual disability

by  /  22 May 2020

A new study highlights the challenge of distinguishing genetic variants linked to autism from those associated with cognitive development.

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News

Environmental factors unlikely to account for rise in autism prevalence

by  /  18 May 2020

The relative contributions of genetic and environmental factors to autism have held steady over multiple decades, according to a large twin study.

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Human brain with prefrontal cortex highlighted.
News

DNA differences may shape gene expression in the brain before birth

by  /  7 May 2020

Many genes in a brain region implicated in autism change expression patterns in late fetal development, depending on differences in neighboring DNA.

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April 2020
Two neuron images compared side by side
News

Lithium may treat behavior linked to autism gene

by  /  24 April 2020

The mood-stabilizing drug lithium seems to ease repetitive behaviors seen in mice missing SHANK3, an autism gene.

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White mouse grooming
News

Gene linked to schizophrenia tied to autism-like behaviors

by  /  23 April 2020

Mice missing DLG2, a protein central to neuronal activity, are anxious, sleep poorly and overgroom themselves.

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News / Toolbox

New atlas maps gene expression throughout the brain

by  /  22 April 2020

A comprehensive atlas of gene expression by brain region could spur new research on autism.

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Microscopic view of neurons
News

Mutations in autism gene linked to distinct conditions

by  /  3 April 2020

Individuals with mutations in an autism gene called TRIO may have a range of conditions, including intellectual disability and anomalous head size.

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March 2020
Close-up of mouse face and whiskers.
News

Sensory sensitivity in autistic people may stem from subset of neurons

by  /  27 March 2020

Mice missing an autism gene called SHANK3 tend to be hypersensitive to touch, which may stem from underactivity of neurons that normally dampen sensory responses.

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Portrait of Elise Robinson in her sunroom surrounded by plants
News / Profiles

Elise Robinson: Untangling the roots of cause and effect

by  /  19 March 2020

Even as a small child, geneticist Elise Robinson wondered why people think the way they do. Today, that question informs much of her autism research.

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