The proposed connection between premature birth and autism may be more complicated than it seems, according to a new report. Early birth may not cause classically defined autism but, rather, may predispose children to autism-like symptoms that are part of a larger syndrome, the researchers say.
Spectrum: Autism Research News
Science & Society
From funding decisions to scientific fraud, a wide range of societal factors shape autism research.
Several genetic and animal studies in the past year have found intriguing ties between autism and DISC1, one of the oldest candidate genes for psychiatric disorders.
Individuals who carry a large and rare deletion on chromosome 16 that is associated with autism are likely to have developmental delays, be obese or both, according to two studies published last week in Nature.
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 This notion gained new support from unpublished data presented at the World Congress for Psychiatric Genetics in San Diego.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.