TOPIC

Signs & Symptoms

Autism’s core symptoms accompany a constellation of subtle signs that scientists are just beginning to unmask.

November 2009
News

Only subset of chromosome 16 variants linked to autism

by  /  20 November 2009

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.

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News

MeCP2 loss leads to smaller neurons in brain region

by  /  18 November 2009

Deleting MeCP2, the gene that’s mutated in Rett syndrome, alters both the size and function of neurons in the mouse brain — at least in one brain region, the locus ceruleus — according to a 30 September report in the Journal of Neuroscience.

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Opinion

Double trouble

by  /  17 November 2009

Rare mutations that increase the risk of neuro-psychiatric diseases usually occur in only one copy of a gene. What happens when both copies are mutated?

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News

Amygdala found to govern notion of personal space

by  /  13 November 2009

A report in the October issue of Nature Neuroscience says the amygdala — the brain region that controls emotions, as well as the way individuals interpret and respond to social situations and recognize possible threats — governs the preference for personal space.

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News

Autism study zooms in on five-gene strip on chromosome 16

by  /  10 November 2009

Genetic analysis of one Belgian family with a history of autism has pinpointed a piece of DNA on chromosome 16, within a segment thought to be missing in about one percent of all cases of autism. The unpublished data was presented on Saturday at the World Congress of Psychiatric Genetics in San Diego.

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News

Massive genomics project unveils schizophrenia results

by  /  10 November 2009

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.

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News

Variants in synaptic protein linked to autism

by  /  9 November 2009

Scientists have identified several autism-specific variants in a gene that lies within a chromosomal region linked to the disorder, according to a poster presented at the World Congress of Psychiatric Genetics in San Diego.

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News

Variants associated with autism over-hyped, company says

by  /  6 November 2009

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.

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News

Point mutation in neuroligin found in brothers with autism

by  /  6 November 2009

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.

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Opinion

The entire spectrum

by  /  6 November 2009

A newer version of the psychiatric manual may expand the definition of autism, folding in Asperger syndrome and pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified.

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