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Spectrum: Autism Research News

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Treatments

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

November 2010

Video: Why make neurons from children with autism?

by  /  19 November 2010

Ricardo Dolmetsch is making neurons from induced pluripotent stem cells derived from people with Timothy syndrome, a rare single-gene disorder that causes heart arrhythmias and autism. On Wednesday morning at the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in San Diego, Dolmetsch talked to SFARI about how this approach could help autism research.

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Immune protein alters development in young mice

by  /  18 November 2010

Pregnant mice injected with the immune protein interleukin-6 give birth to pups that are less social than normal, an effect that results from the over-activation of two pathways critical in neurodevelopment, researchers reported Tuesday at the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in San Diego.

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Lithium targets key enzyme to improve fragile X symptoms

by  /  18 November 2010

Lithium ameliorates some of the cognitive and behavioral deficits associated with fragile X syndrome by blocking GSK-3, an enzyme that plays a key role in development, researchers said Wednesday at the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in San Diego.

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Inner receptors may be important for fragile X treatment

by  /  18 November 2010

Contrary to popular belief, receptors both outside and inside a cell regulate a cellular pathway that is overactive in people with fragile X syndrome, researchers reported Tuesday at the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in San Diego. The finding could have significant implications for drug treatments of fragile X syndrome.

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Video: Early intervention is effective for children with autism

by  /  17 November 2010

New research shows that behavioral intervention at a young age can improve language and social skills in some children with autism — and that parents may be the best therapists.

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Tuberous sclerosis mice have fewer synaptic proteins

by  /  17 November 2010

A study of mice with tuberous sclerosis — a single-gene disorder that is related to autism — suggests that most forms of autism share a common feature: an imbalance of proteins at the synapse, the junction between neurons. The work was presented Monday at the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in San Diego.

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Researchers make ‘normal’ neurons in a dish

by  /  16 November 2010

A new model system allows scientists to watch human neurons develop outside of the brain, researchers reported Sunday at the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in San Diego.

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Stem cell assay reveals early development of Rett neurons

by  /  16 November 2010

Researchers have developed the first stem cell system that makes it possible to study the early development of neurons from people with Rett syndrome, a rare disorder on the autism spectrum.

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Prairie vole study finds new drug that boosts oxytocin

by  /  15 November 2010

A drug already in clinical trials as a tanning compound raises brain levels of oxytocin — a hormone and neurotransmitter involved in social bonding — researchers reported Sunday at the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in San Diego. Higher levels of oxytocin can help animals recognize their mates and turn to a friend for help, according to two posters presented at the meeting.

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Common themes link etiology, treatment in autism

by  /  15 November 2010

Three themes — heterogeneity, phenotype, and trajectory — are beginning to emerge in diverse lines of inquiry into autism, according to speakers at a satellite symposium of the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in San Diego.

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