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Spectrum: Autism Research News

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Signs & Symptoms

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

February 2010

Rare deletions on chromosome 16 tie autism to obesity

by  /  10 February 2010

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.

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Tuberous sclerosis linked to brain cell migration

by  /  8 February 2010

The TSC2 gene, mutations in which cause tuberous sclerosis complex, is needed for budding nerve fibers to find their proper targets in the brain, according to a mouse study published in Nature Neuroscience.

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Variants in trust hormone receptor up the risk for autism

by  /  1 February 2010

Genetic variations that tweak the brain’s release of oxytocin — a hormone involved in social bonding and establishing trust — may increase the risk of developing autism or traits of the disorder, according to three new studies published in the past few months.

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Super-cool synapses

by  /  1 February 2010

A chilling new technique shows the intricate and coordinated activity of previously mysterious pieces of the synapse, the all-important junction between neurons that allows cells to talk to each other.

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January 2010

First drug for autism enters final stage of testing

by  /  28 January 2010

A large clinical trial to test the first drug specifically designed to treat autism is under way at 12 sites across the United States.

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Early intervention yields big benefits for children with autism

by  /  20 January 2010

An early intervention method called the Early Start Denver Model can help children with autism improve their language and behavioral skills, and raise their intelligence quotients, according to a study published in Pediatrics.

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MEGa marker

by  /  14 January 2010

The brains of children with autism show a delayed response to sound, which may lead to their language problems.

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Food for thought

by  /  12 January 2010

There is no evidence to support the idea of autism-specific gut problems, according to a review published Monday in Pediatrics.

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Guoping Feng: Unearthing the roots of compulsive behavior

by  /  4 January 2010

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.

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December 2009

Virtual games teach real-world skills to kids with autism

by  /  21 December 2009

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.

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