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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.

October 2012

Molecular mechanisms: Angelman region affects serotonin

by  /  12 October 2012

Mice that model Angelman syndrome or have a duplication of the 15q11-13 chromosomal region have aberrant brain levels of the chemical messenger serotonin, according to a study published 16 August in PLoS One.


Genetics: RNA improvisations altered in autism

by  /  9 October 2012

RNA editing, which creates multiple forms of a protein, is common among proteins involved in neuronal signaling, and may be abnormal in people with autism, according to a study published 7 August in Molecular Psychiatry.

A young girl plays doctor on a bed with a stuffed animal.

Quiet care

by  /  5 October 2012

Adapting the hospital environment to suit the needs of children with autism can cut down how long the children spend there and how often they return, suggests a study in the 2012 issue of Autism Research and Treatment.


Allen Institute aims to mass-produce stem cells

by  /  5 October 2012

The nonprofit Allen Institute for Brain Science in Seattle plans to make neurons from stem cells derived from people with a number of different disorders. The resource, described 25 September at a conference in New York, will be available to all scientists.


Researchers uncover new drug target for fragile X

by  /  4 October 2012

Deleting an enzyme that regulates protein synthesis reverses some of the molecular and behavioral deficits in a mouse model of fragile X syndrome, according to research published 2 October in Neuron.


Short screening tool flags children with autism

by  /  3 October 2012

A subset of questions on two behavioral screens can distinguish children with autism from those with other developmental disorders, according to a study published 23 August in Autism.


Molecular mechanisms: Autism gene linked to fragile X traits

by  /  3 October 2012

Deleting CYFIP1, a gene within a region linked to Angelman syndrome and autism, in mice leads to symptoms reminiscent of fragile X syndrome, according to a study published 10 August in PLoS One.


Speedy mice

by  /  2 October 2012

Amphetamines and other compounds with stimulant properties may improve social behaviors in a subset of individuals who have autism with hyperactivity, says Jill Silverman.


Placenta plays potent role in autism risk

by ,  /  2 October 2012

As the central organ regulating maternal-fetal interactions, the placenta is perfectly positioned to mediate environmental and genetic risk factors during prenatal development. It may also relay risk factors for autism to the fetus, says Paul Patterson.

September 2012

Language boost

by  /  28 September 2012

The antidepressant sertraline may improve language deficits in children with fragile X syndrome, according to a small study in the annual issue of Autism Research and Treatment.