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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.

December 2011

Pharma’s shift

by  /  13 December 2011

Swiss drugmaker Novartis plans to close its neuroscience research facility in Switzerland, but research on fragile X drugs will continue.


Neurons made from stem cells reveal cellular flaws in autism

by  /  8 December 2011

Researchers have uncovered cellular abnormalities in Timothy syndrome by regenerating neurons from individuals with the rare autism-related disorder, according to a study published 27 November in Nature Medicine.


New system screens for drugs that alter neuronal junctions

by  /  7 December 2011

A new technique efficiently screens for compounds that enhance or inhibit the formation of synapses, the junctions between neurons, according to a study published 25 October in Nature Communications.


Small plates

by  /  6 December 2011

People with autism may be picky eaters because they are hesitant to try new things, but also because they may have an atypical sense of taste. 


Clinical research: Drug eases compulsions in mouse model

by  /  2 December 2011

A drug that blocks a type of receptor at the junctions between neurons reverses repetitive behaviors in a mouse model of autism, according to a new study.

Chart explaining healthy neuron synapse function.

Tuberous sclerosis, fragile X may be molecular opposites

by  /  1 December 2011

Some forms of autism are caused by too many proteins at the synapse, the junction between neurons, whereas other forms result from too few, according to a study published 23 November in Nature.

November 2011

Fishy findings

by  /  29 November 2011

Supplements of omega-3 fatty acids, prime ingredients of fish oils, don’t improve symptoms in children with autism, according to a new review.


Mouse models point to early troubles in tuberous sclerosis

by  /  28 November 2011

The brain abnormalities characteristic of tuberous sclerosis may begin early in development and involve malfunctioning of neuronal precursors, according to studies of two different mouse models of the disorder published in October.


Stem cell lines shed light on autism-related disorders

by  /  23 November 2011

Researchers have derived neurons from stem cells to investigate mutations that lead to Rett and fragile X syndromes.


Measuring monogamy

by  /  18 November 2011

Oxytocin, the so-called ‘love hormone,’ plays a key role in monogamy in rodents, but its association with human relationships is subtle at best.