A new analysis of proposed changes to the diagnostic criteria for autism suggests that the revision could exclude a substantial number of people with high-functioning autism. But critics say the study is fundamentally flawed.
Spectrum: Autism Research News
Science & Society
From funding decisions to scientific fraud, a wide range of societal factors shape autism research.
Early intensive intervention is the only therapy that has been shown to be effective in young children with autism, according to a 2011 review of autism treatments commissioned by the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. But researchers are just beginning to tease out what they refer to as its ‘active ingredients:’ why the treatment works, which elements are essential and why it fails to help some children.
Full siblings are twice as likely as half siblings to share a diagnosis of autism, according to a short report published 28 February in Molecular Psychiatry. The results suggest that genetic factors play an important role in the risk of developing autism, the researchers say.
Researchers have developed a tool that can predict whether DNA mutations that change a single base pair are likely to alter RNA splicing, a process that modifies the sequence of mRNA, the genetic message that codes for protein. The results were published 10 February in Bioinformatics.
Prenatal genetic tests that can detect copy number variations, including those linked to autism, could raise tough questions for doctors and parents.