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Spectrum: Autism Research News

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Science & Society

From funding decisions to scientific fraud, a wide range of societal factors shape autism research.

January 2014

Untrained doctors slow autism care in many nations

by  /  31 January 2014

A shortage of trained doctors, lack of awareness and long waiting lists for specialized care delay diagnosis and treatment of autism in many low- and middle-income countries, report two new studies.


Spontaneous and rare mutations are key in schizophrenia

by  /  30 January 2014

Spontaneous and rare mutations, particularly in genes related to networks that regulate neuronal connections, contribute a small but significant proportion of the risk for schizophrenia, report two large studies published online 22 January in Nature.


Eye-tracker charts gaze of children with autism

by  /  29 January 2014

A lightweight eye-tracking system allows researchers to record the shifts in gaze that naturally occur during playtime, reports a study published 20 November in Frontiers in Psychology.


Gut woes may accompany repetitive behaviors in autism

by  /  24 January 2014

Children with autism who have constipation are often also plagued by compulsive or repetitive behaviors, a core feature of autism, finds a study published 29 November in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.


Symptom database may find patterns in complex disorders

by  /  22 January 2014

The Human Phenotype Ontology project has assembled more than 10,000 standardized terms for human diseases and the symptoms that accompany them, researchers reported 1 January in Nucleic Acids Research.


How do we begin to treat autism’s most severe cases?

by  /  16 January 2014

A new research network aims to study autism’s least-understood population: those with the most severe forms of the disorder. Three experts weigh in on the project’s potential impact.


Michael Merzenich discusses plasticity in autism

 /  29 January 2014

Watch the complete replay of Michael Merzenich discussing how the brain’s ability to change with experience may lead to new treatments for autism.


Lack of training begets autism diagnosis bottleneck

by  /  13 January 2014

Delays in access to autism diagnosis and care are widely acknowledged. These concerns are spurring the medical community to take a hard look at the failings of professional training in contributing to the problem.


Clinical research: Extra X increases risk of autism

by  /  7 January 2014

Men who have an extra X chromosome have an elevated risk of developing autism, schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, according to a study in the January issue of the Journal of Psychiatric Research.


Duplication of chromosome 22 region thwarts schizophrenia

by  /  2 January 2014

Carrying a duplication of the 22q11.2 chromosomal region may protect against schizophrenia, suggests a study published 12 November in Molecular Psychiatry. This is the first evidence of a genetic region that lowers the risk of a disorder rather than increases it.