Prairie vole pups exposed to the antidepressant fluoxetine in the womb show autism-like behaviors and lose some receptors for oxytocin and vasopressin.
Spectrum: Autism Research News
From parental age to infection during pregnancy, environmental elements can influence autism risk.
Infants born prematurely show alterations in the structure and function of their brain circuits — findings that may help explain their increased risk for autism.
The environment’s influence on gene expression can vary by sex and affect autism’s expression.
The pups of male mice exposed to stress show a muted response to stressful situations of their own, suggesting that environmental effects can last generations.
An immune molecule that helps defend people from infection with viruses or bacteria may also keep brain activity in check, allowing people to be social.
Women who have lupus are roughly twice as likely as women without an immune disorder to have a child with autism.
Researchers in Sweden are assembling a large group of identical twin pairs, with only one twin in each pair having autism.
Autism is not a developmental disorder, but rather the brain’s adaptive response to early genetic or environmental disturbances, says Mark Johnson.
The National Institutes of Health is reviving a defunct study that aimed to identify environmental risk factors for autism and other childhood disorders. Some researchers say the do-over is unlikely to live up to the original project’s promise.