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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.

June 2022

Gene therapy targets interneurons to tackle Dravet syndrome

by  /  13 June 2022

The approach, tested in mice, selectively boosts the expression of the autism-linked gene SCN1A in a subgroup of inhibitory cells.

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Different forms of autism have opposite problems with brain precursor cells

by  /  10 June 2022

The cells’ altered proliferation rates hint at ways to diagnose and potentially treat autism earlier.

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Two top autism-linked proteins connect to build cell ‘skeleton’

by  /  9 June 2022

ADNP and SHANK3 proteins may bind together and alter a neuron’s internal scaffold, hinting at a mechanism that, when disrupted, may underlie several forms of autism.

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black-and-white image of a burst of neuron activity, indicated by the neurons flashing brightly and simultaneously

Autism-linked mutation alters neuronal network activity

by  /  7 June 2022

Neurons with a faulty copy of SETD1A, a gene tied to autism and schizophrenia, show structural abnormalities and altered connectivity patterns.

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A street crowded with pedestrian traffic

Spectrum of variants contribute differently to autism traits

by  /  3 June 2022

Different combinations of common, rare, inherited and spontaneous mutations may explain why traits vary so widely among autistic people.

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Organoids test gene therapies for Pitt-Hopkins syndrome

by  /  2 June 2022

Strategies to replace or compensate for mutated copies of the TCF4 gene could lead to treatments for this profound form of autism, a new study suggests.

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Unlocking the mitochondrial genome for autism research

by  /  1 June 2022

The DNA specific to mitochondria is difficult to access, but new methods place its secrets within reach.

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May 2022
Ultrasound in black and white shows a pattern.

Heart anomalies abound in mouse models of autism

by  /  23 May 2022

Of nine genetic models examined in a new study, all had some incidence of cardiac abnormalities. But the problems varied widely depending on the affected genes.

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Psychiatric conditions hospitalize almost one in four autistic women by age 25

by  /  17 May 2022

The findings, based on Swedish national registry data, suggest a critical need to expand mental health services for autistic people.

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Three views of zebrafish.

Novel gene linked to brain size in autistic people

by  /  16 May 2022

The gene, YTHDF2, may be one of several that contribute to an autism subtype marked by an unusually big brain.

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