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Spectrum: Autism Research News

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Efforts to ease the symptoms of autism are beginning to ramp up, with promising candidates in various stages of testing.

August 2011

Clinical research: Lack of gestures is specific to autism

by  /  12 August 2011

Toddlers with autism are less likely to use gestures to communicate than are typically developing children and those with developmental delay or specific language impairment.


Related risk

by  /  11 August 2011

A complicated interplay between a certain genetic variant and autism, schizophrenia and rheumatoid arthritis adds one more intriguing correlation to the growing list of autism risk factors.


Modified stem cells make glowing neurons

by  /  10 August 2011

A new technique allows researchers to make stable modifications to neurons by incorporating modified amino acids into the proteins of stem cells. The method permits researchers to investigate neuronal function in live, intact cells.


Genetics: Variants linked to autism-related behavior

by  /  10 August 2011

Genetic variants in two autism-associated genes have been linked to repetitive behavior and hyperactivity, two common symptoms of the disorder, according to two studies published in the past few months.


Clinical research: Drug increases communication while rats play

by  /  5 August 2011

Giving GLYX-13, a drug that targets an autism-associated brain pathway, to rats bred to be less social increases how much they communicate while playing.


X-linked variants may up autism, schizophrenia risk

by  /  3 August 2011

The first study to sequence more than 100 genes on the X chromosome in people with autism or schizophrenia has turned up some promising leads.

July 2011

Powerful perspective

by  /  29 July 2011

At a workshop where some of the top scientists in autism research assembled to discuss biomarkers, a 7-year-old girl with the disorder was the real expert.


Fragile X protein found to regulate key autism candidates

by  /  28 July 2011

The protein missing in people with fragile X syndrome regulates the activity of more than 800 other proteins, including some key players in autism, according to a study published 22 July in Cell. Many of these autism-associated proteins cluster on either side of the synapse, the junction between neurons.


Molecular mechanisms: Fragments of RNA regulate synapse

by  /  27 July 2011

Small fragments of RNA, called microRNAs, can fine-tune the levels of proteins at the junctions between neurons in response to cell signals, according to a study published 10 June in Molecular Cell.


Weak waves

by  /  22 July 2011

Neurofeedback studies showing improvement in symptoms in people with autism are deeply flawed, according to a new review.