TOPIC

Signs & Symptoms

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

March 2010
News

Delay found in development of fragile X brains

by  /  26 March 2010

Young mouse models of fragile X syndrome show a significant lag in the development of synapses, the connections between neurons, according to a study published in Neuron. The findings suggest that a similar mistiming may be responsible for the sensory problems — such as hypersensitivity to touch and sound — sometimes seen in people with fragile X syndrome.

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Opinion

Learning opportunities

by  /  23 March 2010

There are several short periods during development in which our brains are ‘plastic’ — meaning that neuronal connections appear and disappear depending on how much they are used. Researchers may have found a way to reopen those learning windows.

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News / Profiles

Evan Eichler: Following his instincts to autism ‘hotspots’

by  /  22 March 2010

With an openness to collaboration and a healthy dose of daring, Evan Eichler has turned his offbeat interest in repeat DNA sequences into a new understanding of how genomes evolve, expediting the search for genes disrupted in autism.

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Opinion

Two-hit wonder

by  /  17 March 2010

We know that carrying one specific DNA variant can increase your risk of autism. What if you carry two?

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News

Researchers seek patterns in the sounds of autism

by  /  15 March 2010

Scientists have created machines to detect distinctive speech patterns in children with autism that go unnoticed by the naked ear.

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News

Face recognition is distinct genetic skill, studies find

by  /  11 March 2010

The ability to recognize faces and interpret facial expressions is programmed partly by genes and inherited separately from other traits, according to three independent studies published this year.

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News

Studies challenge link between premature birth and autism

by  /  8 March 2010

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.

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News

Postmortem brains point to impaired inhibition in autism

by  /  4 March 2010

Researchers have found a higher density of several types of interneurons — nerve cells that connect sensory and motor neurons in the brain— in postmortem brain tissue from individuals with autism, compared with healthy controls. The findings appear in the February issue of Acta Neurologica Scandinavica.

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Opinion

Tried and trusted

by  /  3 March 2010

The latest findings on oxytocin — a.k.a. the ‘trust hormone’ — secure its position as a frontrunner among emerging treatments for autism.

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News

Clinical, animal studies probe DISC1’s role in autism

by  /  1 March 2010

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.

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