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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.

December 2009

Approving news

by  /  4 December 2009

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, those dealing with autism received some welcome news last week: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Abilify (aripiprazole) as a treatment for autism-related irritability.

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November 2009

Loss of inhibitory neurons marks autism mouse models

by  /  24 November 2009

Autism may be the result of faulty wiring that occurs during early brain development, according to two independent studies that looked at the origins of circuit disruption.

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MeCP2 loss leads to smaller neurons in brain region

by  /  18 November 2009

Deleting MeCP2, the gene that’s mutated in Rett syndrome, alters both the size and function of neurons in the mouse brain — at least in one brain region, the locus ceruleus — according to a 30 September report in the Journal of Neuroscience.

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October 2009

Enriched environment improves symptoms of Rett

by  /  23 October 2009

Giving mouse models of Rett syndrome access to toys, wheels and contact with other mice rescues motor skill and other deficits characteristic of the disorder, according to results presented in a poster session Wednesday 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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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and behavioral interventions can reverse characteristics of autism in a mouse model of the disorder, according to unpublished results presented in poster sessions today at the Society for Neuroscience meeting.

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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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July 2009

New autism gene points to cellular calcium imbalance

by  /  14 July 2009

A common variant of a gene called CACNA1G — which makes a channel that helps regulate calcium flow between cells — may increase the risk of developing autism, according to research published in Molecular Psychiatry.

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June 2009

Study links autism to stem cell development

by  /  23 June 2009

The molecular defects that cause some cases of autism may arise during the development of neuronal stem cells, according to a new theory bolstered by several independent animal and human studies.

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May 2009

Brain images uncover candidate genes for schizophrenia, autism

by  /  12 May 2009

Applying an emerging technique that combines genetic data and brain scans, researchers have identified two new genes involved in schizophrenia. The method, called ‘imaging genetics’, holds promise for linking genes to brain function in complex psychiatric disorders, including autism.

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