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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.

February 2012

Clinical research: Mice model Rett syndrome’s heart symptoms

by  /  10 February 2012

Mice engineered to carry a Rett syndrome mutation only in neurons are prone to an irregular heartbeat that can lead to sudden death, according to a study published 14 December in Science Translational Medicine.


Microscope reveals nanoscale detail in live mouse brains

by  /  8 February 2012

A new microscope allows researchers to capture the movement of tiny signal-receiving branches in the brains of adult mice at the nanoscale level. The results were published 3 February in Science.


Molecular mechanisms: Lithium treats fragile X in mice

by  /  3 February 2012

Lithium alleviates the symptoms of fragile X syndrome in mice in part by normalizing protein synthesis in the brain, according to a study published 29 December in Neurobiology of Disease.


Clinical research: Two compounds treat Rett syndrome in mice

by  /  1 February 2012

Two compounds that enhance the activity of BDNF, a protein needed for the growth of neurons, improve motor skills in mouse models of Rett syndrome and increase the mice’s lifespan.

January 2012

Fishing for folate

by  /  27 January 2012

A new study claims that low folate levels contribute to autism and offers a tenuous explanation for the low levels.


Clinical research: Prozac may help adults with autism

by  /  25 January 2012

Fluoxetine, an antidepressant marketed as Prozac, may alleviate repetitive behaviors in adults with autism, according to a study published 2 December in the American Journal of Psychiatry.


Tony Charman: Longitudinal studies for autism research

by  /  24 January 2012

Clinicians and autism researchers should learn the early signs of autism and take into account an individual’s developmental trajectory, says Tony Charman.


Video insights

by  /  20 January 2012

A new online collection of definitions and short video clips aims to help parents and researchers distinguish among a wide variety of clinical therapies for autism.


Clinical research: Study suggests drug for fragile X syndrome

by  /  17 January 2012

A compound that boosts inhibitory signals in the brain could treat hyperactivity and excitability in mice that model fragile X syndrome, according to a study published 8 November in Developmental Neuroscience.


Autism’s cost

by  /  10 January 2012

New numbers are shedding light on just how much it costs to care for children with autism — and, importantly, what is driving those costs.