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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.

September 2012

Clinical research: Arthritis drug improves autism treatment

by  /  26 September 2012

The anti-inflammatory drug celecoxib, sometimes marketed as Celebrex, improves the effectiveness of risperidone for treating irritability in people with autism, according to a study published 11 July in Psychopharmacology.

Image of stem cells that have differentiated into a variety of brain cell types.

Human stem cells generate miniature brain regions

by  /  25 September 2012

Researchers have induced stem cells to form three-dimensional clumps of neurons that resemble miniature brains, according to a study published 31 July in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


Economic imperative

by  /  21 September 2012

The cost of caring for individuals with autism increases throughout childhood and adolescence, by approximately five percent with each year of age.


Drug improves social deficits in fragile X syndrome

by  /  19 September 2012

A drug called arbaclofen improves behavioral problems in people with fragile X syndrome, an inherited condition that can lead to mental retardation and autism, according to the results of a clinical trial published today in Science Translational Medicine. A second study published in the same journal showed that the drug restores normal brain function in a mouse model of the disorder.


Model reveals new links between autism and fragile X

by  /  17 September 2012

Mice that lack the autism-linked gene neuroligin-3 show similar deficits in neuronal connections to those seen in fragile X syndrome, an inherited form of mental retardation, according to research published 13 September in Science. Restoring the gene in adolescent mice reverses the problem, suggesting a potential pathway for treatment.


Molecular mechanisms: Rett syndrome gene regulates RNA

by  /  14 September 2012

MeCP2, the gene mutated in people with Rett syndrome, may regulate rates of RNA production in developing neurons, according to a study published 3 August in Stem Cells.

Close-up image of an arm reaching out to console someone who is sitting down with their hands folded in their lap.

Missing support

by  /  11 September 2012

Despite the growing number of young adults with autism, few studies have looked at how best to support these teens as they transition into adulthood.


Postmortem brains crucial for autism research

by ,  /  4 September 2012

Postmortem brains from individuals with autism allow researchers to look at patterns of gene expression in different cell types, and to understand the interplay among neurons and neural circuits, says Dan Arking.

August 2012

Racial care

by  /  31 August 2012

Parents of minority children with autism are more likely to report that their children have poor quality of care than are parents of minority children with other developmental disabilities.


Life’s blood

by  /  28 August 2012

The first approved stem cell trial for autism will soon be under way. Is there a rationale for testing stem cells to improve symptoms of the disorder?