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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.

November 2011

Clinical research: Early therapy in autism yields big gains

by  /  11 November 2011

Children with autism who receive intensive behavioral interventions of various types show the most improvement on tests of social and communicative abilities, according to a study in the January-March 2012 issue of Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders.


Rapamycin reverses memory deficits in DISC1-deficient mice

by  /  10 November 2011

A drug in trials for treating autism-related disorders can reverse memory problems and anxiety in adult mice lacking the schizophrenia gene DISC1 in some cells. The unpublished results were presented yesterday in Washington, D.C.


Fred Volkmar: A decades-long perspective on autism research

by  /  8 November 2011

Over the past 30 years, autism research pioneer Fred Volkmar says he has learned that researchers should be humble when assigning meaning to autism behavior, and seek to translate their findings into useful applications.  


Clinical research: Overall health a concern for autism

by  /  2 November 2011

Adults with autism are more likely than controls to have certain chronic health conditions, such as high cholesterol, but are less likely to treat these with prescription drugs.


Molecular mechanisms: Fragile X drugs could treat autism

by  /  1 November 2011

Postmortem brains from adults with autism have lower-than-normal levels of the fragile X mental retardation protein, which is missing in individuals with fragile X syndrome.

October 2011

Treatments needed for severe sensory sensitivity

by  /  25 October 2011

There should be more research on sensory sensitivity in autism, which severely affects quality of life, says bestselling author and animal scientist Temple Grandin.


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.