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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 2011

Stem cells pinpoint players in nerve cell development

by  /  19 October 2011

Stem cells reprogrammed to become neurons can provide a picture of gene expression in neurons that is traditionally available only from brain tissue.


Growth factor improves autism symptoms in mice

by  /  19 October 2011

Mice lacking a copy of SHANK3, a gene associated with autism and intellectual disability, show marked improvements in brain signaling after being treated with insulin-like growth factor 1, according to unpublished findings presented Saturday at the International Congress of Human Genetics in Montreal, Canada.


Researchers debut mice with links to Williams syndrome

by  /  17 October 2011

Mouse pups with a duplication of GTF2I, a gene linked to Williams syndrome and autism, show extreme separation anxiety when separated from their mothers, according to unpublished findings presented Thursday at the International Congress of Human Genetics in Montreal, Canada.


Clinical research: Asthma drugs do not increase risk of autism

by  /  14 October 2011

Pregnant women who take beta-2 adrenergic agonists, commonly prescribed to treat asthma, are no more likely to have a child with autism than are those who don’t take the drugs.

Color enhanced scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of different bacteria from a human fecal sample.

Poor metabolism of sugars fuels gut woes in autism

by  /  13 October 2011

Children with autism who suffer from severe gastrointestinal problems show markedly lower-than-normal levels of enzymes needed to digest complex sugars, and of transporters that allow simple sugars to be absorbed into the blood.


Dysmorphology as biomarker for the study of autism

by  /  11 October 2011

Individuals who have autism and dysmorphology comprise a distinct subgroup within the disorder, says geneticist Judith Miles. 


Tech grant takes aim at autism diagnosis, treatment

by  /  10 October 2011

A $10 million grant from the U.S. National Science Foundation is funding a five-year project to develop new technologies that can help clinicians diagnose and treat autism.


Researchers engineer light-responsive strains of mice

by  /  5 October 2011

Researchers have engineered four new mouse lines that each show activation of a different subset of neurons in response to a blue light.


Full speed ahead

by  /  4 October 2011

President Obama signed a new law on Friday that authorizes $693 million in federal spending for autism research, services and treatment over the next three years.


New mouse model mimics many symptoms of autism

by  /  3 October 2011

Mice lacking the autism-linked gene CNTNAP2 show many of the behaviors associated with the disorder, and exhibit brain circuit disruptions similar to those seen in people who carry mutations in the gene.