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Spectrum: Autism Research News

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Treatments

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

September 2011

Joint effort

by  /  30 September 2011

A new study finds that preschool teachers can help improve social skills in 2- to 5-year-old children with autism by modeling behaviors such as showing and pointing, and enthusiastically responding when children mimic these behaviors.

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Young person walking away from the camera.

Down by law

by  /  27 September 2011

A new study finds that Dutch children picked up by the police for minor offenses score higher than controls on a questionnaire measuring traits of autism.

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Genetics: Protein that regulates serotonin linked to autism

by  /  27 September 2011

A protein that regulates the development of serotonin-producing neurons in the brain is associated with autism.

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Questionnaire distinguishes autism, developmental disability

by  /  21 September 2011

Researchers have optimized an early social screening questionnaire to distinguish autism from other developmental disabilities in preschool-aged children.

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Cognition and behavior: Probiotics alleviate anxiety in mice

by  /  20 September 2011

Probiotic bacteria alleviate stress in healthy mice and modify the expression of receptors for a chemical messenger that inhibits signaling in the brain.

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Comic relief

by  /  16 September 2011

An adventure story about a boy with autism is making an appearance in a popular comic book.

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Clinical research: Oxytocin alleviates social anxiety

by  /  14 September 2011

Individuals with fragile X syndrome make slightly more eye contact in stressful social situations after taking oxytocin compared with placebo.

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Vision as gateway for understanding autism

by ,  /  8 September 2011

Impairments in vision, even if they don’t cause autism, are likely to be manifestations of underlying neural abnormalities, says Pawan Sinha, professor of vision and founder of the humanitarian organization Project Prakash.  

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Cognition and behavior: Fragile X treatment has ill effects

by  /  2 September 2011

A compound that shows promise as a treatment for fragile X syndrome alleviates repetitive behaviors in mice, but unexpectedly makes them less social.

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August 2011

How fish can help find causes of autism

by ,  /  29 August 2011

Zebrafish share genes and pathways with humans, making them a useful tool to identify the genes that malfunction in autism, says expert Hazel Sive.

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