TOPIC

Signs & Symptoms

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

February 2008
News

Brain growth could be early sign of autism

by  /  11 February 2008

As many as one in every three people with autism develop a macrocephalus, or extremely enlarged head, at some point in their lives, an observation largely accepted as fact. But how or why this happens ― and whether it happens consistently enough to be useful in diagnosing autism ― remains contentious.

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News

MEG imaging simplifies mapping of autistic brains

by  /  4 February 2008

Imagine being confined for at least half an hour to a dark, claustrophobic tunnel, in a machine so obnoxiously loud that it sounds like you’re in an oil drum with a jackhammer pounding on the outside. Thatʼs whatʼs involved in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): an experience enough to make even the bravest among us flinch.

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January 2008
News

Genes link autism and immunity

by  /  30 January 2008

A new genetic study is lending support to the notion that immune system abnormalities and some forms of autism go hand in hand.

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Opinion / Reviews

Autism and the arts: “Lucy” captures disorder’s complexity

by  /  28 January 2008

Itʼs not often that movies, books and plays represent science accurately, or with a true and empathetic understanding of its complexity.

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Opinion / Viewpoint

The 1999 Rett syndrome paper

by  /  3 January 2008

Huda Zoghbi and her colleagues painstakingly sequenced the candidate genes for Rett syndrome, culminating in the 1999 Nature Genetics report that pinpointed six de novo mutations in the MeCP2 gene as the cause of the disorder.

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News

Fragile X symptoms reversed in mice

by  /  3 January 2008

Fragile X syndrome is a rare and devastating condition, and a risk factor for autism. New research suggesting the condition is reversible in mice has some wondering whether treatments for the syndrome ― and for some forms of autism ― could be on the horizon.

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News / Profiles

Josh Huang: In dogged pursuit of autism’s off switch

by  /  3 January 2008

In 1982, Josh Huang was an impressionable young biology undergraduate at Shanghaiʼs FuDan University. Like some of his fellow Chinese students, he knew he wanted to be a neuroscientist, but with limited access to scientific journals, had no idea which big questions were then at the forefront of research.

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December 2007
News

Interpreting gray matter studies not black and white

by  /  18 December 2007

Gray matter, that mysterious brain substance, is thought to control everything from motor function to mental acuity. In recent years several studies have suggested that an excess of gray matter during childhood is to blame for the symptoms of autism.

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Opinion / Viewpoint

Leo Kanner’s 1943 paper on autism

by  /  7 December 2007

Donald T. was not like other 5-year-old boys. Leo Kanner knew that the moment he read the 33-page letter from Donaldʼs father that described the boy in obsessive detail as “happiest when he was alone… drawing into a shell and living within himself… oblivious to everything around him.”

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News

Maternal flu linked to autism

by  /  7 December 2007

Having the flu during pregnancy can be unpleasant and exhausting. But can it affect fetal brain development and cause autism-like disorders? Intriguing new research says yes ― at least in mice.

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