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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

Imaging software explains contradictory brain data

by  /  18 October 2009

Computer software that maps the three dimensions of the brain has found that people with schizophrenia have deep grooves and small volumes in brain areas associated with planning and executive control.

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Video: “Bad” autism animal models

by  /  18 October 2009

Tracy Bale, associate professor of neuroscience at the University of Pennsylvania, talks about what she calls her “big soapbox issue”: the fallacious idea of a true animal model for a human psychiatric disease — and the pitfalls of over-interpreting rodent behavior.

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SFN blows into Windy City

by  /  16 October 2009

It’s that time of year again — fall foliage, plump pumpkins and, if you’re a neuroscientist, the mad, mobbed scenes at the Society for Neuroscience (SFN) annual meeting.

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Behind the headlines

by  /  6 October 2009

The news yesterday was hard to miss: 1 in every 100 children apparently has autism, according to two new studies.

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September 2009

Michael Wigler: Applying simple logic to complex genetics

by  /  18 September 2009

Interested more in ideas than in dominating a crowded field, Michael Wigler decided to apply his expertise in cancer genetics to studying poorly understood features of autism.

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August 2009

New autism risk genes may bolster fetal testosterone theory

by  /  25 August 2009

A team of British researchers has garnered some of the first genetic evidence supporting their theory that sex hormones play a role in the development of autism.

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Study raises questions about autism-gut connection

by  /  18 August 2009

Children with autism are no more likely than healthy children to have some of the gastrointestinal symptoms — such as diarrhea, acid reflux and abdominal discomfort — previously tied to the disorder, according to one of the first long-term investigations of the supposed link.

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Gene ties trust hormone to Williams syndrome and autism

by  /  3 August 2009

Studying the relatively well-defined genetics of Williams syndrome may help unravel the poorly understood genetic and neurobiological roots of autism, researchers say.

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July 2009

Eye-tracking brings focus to ‘theory of mind’

by  /  29 July 2009

People with Asperger syndrome don’t automatically show ‘theory of mind’, the ability to understand the desires and beliefs of others, according to a report published 16 July in Science. Instead, they seem to use deliberate reasoning to understand social behaviors, learned after years of practice in the real world.
 
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Schizophrenia risk genes tied to immunity, autism

by  /  24 July 2009

Several new genetic variants associated with schizophrenia lie in regions important for immune function and associated with autism. This suggests that both disorders stem partly from abnormal activation of the immune system, say some researchers.

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