One of the largest genome-wide association studies for autism spectrum disorders, reported last week in Human Molecular Genetics, allows only one definitive conclusion: it isn’t large enough.
Spectrum: Autism Research News
Science & Society
From funding decisions to scientific fraud, a wide range of societal factors shape autism research.
Toddlers who abruptly lose language, social or other developmental skills are more likely to have severe autism a few years later compared with children who have consistent delays from an early age. That’s the conclusion of the largest study thus far of autism onset patterns, published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.
Scientists have for the first time captured a dynamic picture of brain defects in young mouse models of fragile X syndrome. The findings appeared in June in the Journal of Neuroscience.
The mouse brain has more than 1,300 regions for which the copy from one parent is expressed more often than the one from the other parent, according to two studies published today in Science. These so-called imprinted genes have been proposed to cause some cases of autism, but the researchers say their findings do not support that theory.
Chromosomal microarray analysis, which screens the entire genome for tiny blips in the sequence, should be the first genetic test performed when diagnosing autism, says a consortium of clinical geneticists. The recommendation comes on the heels of a study that found the test is three times more effective at spotting autism variants than are standard clinical methods.