Skip to main content

Spectrum: Autism Research News

topic /


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

August 2012
Conceptual illustration of a T-cell

Bone marrow transplant curbs autism symptoms in mice

by  /  16 August 2012

An altered immune system can cause autism-like behaviors, suggests a study published 31 July in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The researchers found that a bone marrow transplant, which restores the animals’ immune system, alleviates their anxiety and repetitive behavior.


Researchers recreate blood-brain barrier in dish

by  /  15 August 2012

Using a two-step process to reprogram human stem cells, researchers have recreated the barrier that protects the brain from toxic molecules, according to a study published 24 June in Nature Biotechnology.


Cognition and behavior: Serotonin may alter emotion response

by  /  15 August 2012

Lowering blood levels of the amino acid tryptophan, a precursor to the chemical messenger serotonin, changes how the autism brain responds to emotions, according to a report published 4 June in PLoS One.


Researchers home in on dosage effects of 15q11-13 region

by  /  13 August 2012

Researchers are beginning to tease apart how dosage of genes within the 15q11-13 chromosomal region contributes to autism symptoms.


Rodent roundup

by  /  10 August 2012

SAGE Labs has announced a new partnership with the autism science and advocacy organization Autism Speaks to fund the creation of three new rat models of autism.


Fat rats

by  /  3 August 2012

Overfed rodents could be throwing toxicology tests off kilter, according to a review published 13 June in Chemical Research in Toxicology.


Genetics: Splicing gene alters expression of autism genes

by  /  3 August 2012

The autism-associated gene RBFOX1 modifies the sequence of hundreds of genetic messages, a number of which affect the expression of other autism-linked genes, according to a study published 7 July in Human Molecular Genetics.

July 2012

In Phelan-McDermid, motor neurons show irregularities

by  /  30 July 2012

Motor neurons derived from individuals with Phelan-McDermid syndrome, a rare autism-related disorder, form abnormal connections with muscle cells. The unpublished research was presented 26 July at a meeting of the Phelan-McDermid Syndrome Foundation in Orlando.


Tuberous sclerosis gene loss triggers autism-like features

by  /  26 July 2012

Losing one or both copies of TSC1, one of the two genes responsible for tuberous sclerosis complex, in specific cells of the cerebellum can trigger several autism-like behaviors in mice, according to research published 1 July in Nature.


Insights for autism from tuberous sclerosis complex

by  /  24 July 2012

Studying tuberous sclerosis provides researchers with a unique opportunity to find a common pathway among the various genetic causes of autism, says neurologist Mustafa Sahin.