Dysregulation of the intracellular signaling pathway RAS, a risk factor for idiopathic autism, may provide a unifying theory of the disorder. Although this is not an altogether new hypothesis, several new findings have strengthened the evidence for it considerably.
Spectrum: Autism Research News
Expert opinions on trends and controversies in autism research.
Maternal antibodies that attack fetal brain proteins could underlie some cases of autism, says immunologist Betty Diamond.
Autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder show genetic and neurobiological overlap, which may provide clues to the origin of both disorders, says Joel Nigg.
Clinicians and autism researchers should learn the early signs of autism and take into account an individual’s developmental trajectory, says Tony Charman.
The etiology of autism may be best understood as an impairment of neuronal circuits, specifically interneurons that dampen signals in the brain, says neuroscientist Gordon Fishell.
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.
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