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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.

August 2011

X-linked variants may up autism, schizophrenia risk

by  /  3 August 2011

The first study to sequence more than 100 genes on the X chromosome in people with autism or schizophrenia has turned up some promising leads.

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July 2011

Powerful perspective

by  /  29 July 2011

At a workshop where some of the top scientists in autism research assembled to discuss biomarkers, a 7-year-old girl with the disorder was the real expert.

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Fragile X protein found to regulate key autism candidates

by  /  28 July 2011

The protein missing in people with fragile X syndrome regulates the activity of more than 800 other proteins, including some key players in autism, according to a study published 22 July in Cell. Many of these autism-associated proteins cluster on either side of the synapse, the junction between neurons.

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Molecular mechanisms: Fragments of RNA regulate synapse

by  /  27 July 2011

Small fragments of RNA, called microRNAs, can fine-tune the levels of proteins at the junctions between neurons in response to cell signals, according to a study published 10 June in Molecular Cell.

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Weak waves

by  /  22 July 2011

Neurofeedback studies showing improvement in symptoms in people with autism are deeply flawed, according to a new review.

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Clinical research: Antidepressant use in pregnancy linked to autism

by  /  22 July 2011

Taking antidepressants while pregnant may slightly increase the risk of having a child with autism, reports a study published 4 July in the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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Implant can target treatments to neurons

by  /  20 July 2011

An ingenious new technique may allow small brain implants to release chemicals when and where they are needed, according to a study published 2 June in the Journal of Neural Engineering.

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Neurons

Insights for autism from Angelman syndrome

by , ,  /  19 July 2011

Deletions or duplications of the UBE3A gene lead to both Angelman syndrome and some cases of autism, respectively. Studying the effects of altered gene dosage in this region will provide insights into brain defects and suggest targets for therapies for both disorders, says expert Benjamin Philpot.

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Mouse study raises questions about fragile X treatment

by  /  18 July 2011

Blocking a chemical messenger — a much-touted approach to treating fragile X syndrome — is unlikely to completely reverse symptoms of the disorder, according to a provocative new study. The results, published in May in Behavioural Brain Research, show only modest behavioral improvements with the approach.

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Experts critique statistics, conclusion of autism twin study

by  /  14 July 2011

A new study of twins proposes the controversial claim that environmental influences during early development are just as, if not more, important than genetics. But the findings are not substantially different from those of previous twin studies, however, and some experts are critical of the study’s statistics.

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