There’s good news for autism research tucked into President Obama’s 2011 budget proposal: $222 million of it, to be exact.
From funding decisions to scientific fraud, a wide range of societal factors shape autism research.
Guoping Feng’s perseverance has proven a boon to the hundreds of neuroscientists who rely on his most celebrated scientific achievement: two dozen mouse strains engineered to have brightly colored brain cells. By creating the first robust mouse model of obsessive-compulsive disorder, Feng has also found a way to study repetitive behaviors, one of the three core characteristics of autism.
Astropolis, a dynamic video game, allows for the unprecedented testing of children with autism on a variety of cognitive skills, all at once, without the artificial, boring and anxiety-ridden setup of a typical psychology lab.
Deletions or duplications of chromosomal segment 16p11.2 — previously reported as a key autism region — are seen in people with developmental delays and speech and behavioral problems, but not necessarily autism. That’s the finding from two large studies published last week of people carrying these rare genetic variations.
The Psychiatric GWAS Consortium has released its first batch of analyses, identifying several significant common variations associated with schizophrenia. The results were presented Sunday at the World Congress of Psychiatric Genetics in San Diego.
Variations linked to autism and schizophrenia crop up in people with a large variety of conditions, including bipolar disorder, seizures and obsessive-compulsive disorder, as well as in healthy people. This notion gained new support from unpublished data presented at the World Congress for Psychiatric Genetics in San Diego.
A new mutation in the neuroligin-4 (NLGN4) gene, one of the few genes convincingly tied to autism, has been found in two brothers with autism, further implicating the gene in the disorder, scientists reported in the Journal of Neuroscience.
The brains of people with autism show high levels of inflammation compared with controls, suggests a study of postmortem brain tissue from 11 individuals with autism, presented at a poster session Monday at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in Chicago.
On Saturday, a top government official resigned from the Interagency Autism Coordination Committee, the body of scientists and advocates that’s responsible for guiding all autism research funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health. Institute director Francis Collins responds.