Some brain areas involved in speech are larger and some smaller in children with autism compared with healthy controls, according to a series of imaging studies conducted by a Boston research group.
Spectrum: Autism Research News
Signs & Symptoms
Autism’s core symptoms accompany a constellation of subtle signs that scientists are just beginning to unmask.
Neuroscientists have discovered a population of cells in the smell-perception area of the rat brain that express the hormone vasopressin. The study, published in Nature, begins to unpack the complicated molecular interactions of the hormone in the brain, which could lead to new autism treatments.
Two independent teams have identified the genetic culprits of three rare, inherited diseases by sequencing the genomes of several members of the same family. As the cost of whole-genome sequencing plummets, this family-based approach will reveal candidate genes not just for rare diseases but for common, complex disorders such as autism, experts say.
Two independent teams have discovered key molecular steps in the way a single gene disrupts the connections between neurons in individuals with Angelman syndrome. Because the gene, UBE3A, has also been linked to autism, the findings could help scientists understand and treat a range of neurodevelopmental disorders.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism may have more in common than childhood onset and a few similar symptoms. New research suggests the conditions share genetic roots.