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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.

October 2009

Fragile X mice marked by immature synapses

by  /  21 October 2009

Young mice that mimic fragile X syndrome have immature and unstable dendritic spines, the neuronal branches that receive signals from other cells, according to unpublished research presented Tuesday at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in Chicago.

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MeCP2 loss ups inhibitory signaling

by  /  21 October 2009

Selectively disrupting an autism-related gene in cultured human neurons causes a dramatic imbalance of excitation and inhibition in cell signaling, according to unpublished results presented today at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in Chicago.

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Neuroligin mutation triggers oxidative stress

by  /  20 October 2009

Deleting a neuronal protein associated with autism causes oxidative stress — characterized by an excess of free radicals — which has been linked to diseases such as diabetes and Alzheimer’s, according to new research in worms. The results were presented yesterday at a poster session at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in Chicago.

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Lack of corpus callosum linked to autistic features

by  /  20 October 2009

People born without the large bundle of nerve fibers that bridges the brain’s hemispheres have trouble identifying fearful faces, and don’t look preferentially at others’ eyes to perform this task, according to research presented Sunday at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in Chicago.

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Immune activation triggers autism features in mice

by  /  20 October 2009

Mice carrying an autism-associated mutation show impaired social interactions and dramatic changes in brain size when their immune systems are activated, according to research presented yesterday at a poster session at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in Chicago.

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Language gene linked to interneuron growth

by  /  20 October 2009

A gene tied to autism and language impairment is crucial for the early development and migration of inhibitory interneurons, according to research presented Monday at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in Chicago.

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Therapies reverse autism in mouse model

by  /  19 October 2009

New pharmacological and behavioral interventions can reverse characteristics of autism in a mouse model of the disorder, according to unpublished results presented in poster sessions today at the Society for Neuroscience meeting.

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Mitochondrial gene variants protect from autism

by  /  18 October 2009

Two variants in a gene needed for the cell’s energy balance may protect the carriers from autism, according to an unpublished study presented today at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in Chicago.

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Video: What autism teaches us about normal development

by  /  18 October 2009

Some of the most profound mysteries of human nature relate to how we communicate and interact with each other. Matthew Belmonte, assistant professor of human development at Cornell University, talks about how studying people with autism can help understand these aspects in healthy people.

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Cancer pathway yields mouse model for autism

by  /  18 October 2009

Mice missing FKBP12, a gene involved in a cancer pathway, show repetitive behavior and an impaired ability to socialize with other mice, and could be used to study autism, according to unpublished results presented at a poster session today at the Society for Neuroscience meeting.

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