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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.

April 2010

Autism symptoms emerge in infancy, sibling study finds

by  /  6 April 2010

At 6 months of age, babies who will later develop autism begin to lose some of their social skills and continue to regress until age 3, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry.

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March 2010

Learning opportunities

by  /  23 March 2010

There are several short periods during development in which our brains are ‘plastic’ — meaning that neuronal connections appear and disappear depending on how much they are used. Researchers may have found a way to reopen those learning windows.

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On the right track

by  /  10 March 2010

Moving a drug from the lab bench to the pharmacy’s shelves takes about 10 years. But for one controversial autism treatment, the process might be much quicker.

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Postmortem brains point to impaired inhibition in autism

by  /  4 March 2010

Researchers have found a higher density of several types of interneurons — nerve cells that connect sensory and motor neurons in the brain— in postmortem brain tissue from individuals with autism, compared with healthy controls. The findings appear in the February issue of Acta Neurologica Scandinavica.

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Tried and trusted

by  /  3 March 2010

The latest findings on oxytocin — a.k.a. the ‘trust hormone’ — secure its position as a frontrunner among emerging treatments for autism.

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February 2010

People with autism stumble on self-other distinctions

by  /  25 February 2010

When thinking about themselves, adults with autism have lower activity in two specific brain regions than do healthy controls, according to an imaging study published in the February issue of Brain.

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Pregnancy drugs increase baby’s autism risk, group claims

by  /  16 February 2010

A class of medications widely used during pregnancy to treat asthma and prevent early labor increases the baby’s risk of autism and other psychiatric disorders, according to a controversial review in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

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Budget boom

by  /  9 February 2010

There’s good news for autism research tucked into President Obama’s 2011 budget proposal: $222 million of it, to be exact.

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Tuberous sclerosis linked to brain cell migration

by  /  8 February 2010

The TSC2 gene, mutations in which cause tuberous sclerosis complex, is needed for budding nerve fibers to find their proper targets in the brain, according to a mouse study published in Nature Neuroscience.

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Variants in trust hormone receptor up the risk for autism

by  /  1 February 2010

Genetic variations that tweak the brain’s release of oxytocin — a hormone involved in social bonding and establishing trust — may increase the risk of developing autism or traits of the disorder, according to three new studies published in the past few months.

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