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Spectrum: Autism Research News

TOPIC

Genes

Rare or common, inherited or spontaneous, mutations form the core of autism risk.

February 2021

Mutations in frogs point to autism genes’ shared role in neurogenesis

by  /  10 February 2021

Mutations in any of 10 autism-linked genes in frogs lead to the same overabundance of brain cells that develop into neurons; the sex hormone estrogen lowers this excess.

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four figures overlapping in red and blue with multi-colored genetic info

Common variants link autism, ADHD, Tourette syndrome

by  /  2 February 2021

Genetic variants that contribute to autism may also be involved in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and Tourette syndrome, according to a new study.

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Heatmap plot showing how each genetic variant plus autism group differed.

Copy number variations linked to autism have diverse but overlapping effects

by  /  1 February 2021

People with mutations in distant chromosomal regions often share a range of autism traits, even if they do not meet the diagnostic threshold for autism.

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January 2021

Method may improve safety of gene therapies targeting the brain

by  /  28 January 2021

A new approach for delivering gene therapy to the brain reduces nerve damage in primates and could help make gene therapies for conditions related to autism safer.

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Mouse brain slices shown in red

Vasopressin relieves social deficits in an autism mouse model

by  /  25 January 2021

Mice missing a copy of MAGEL2 have trouble discerning between a familiar mouse and an unfamiliar one; treating them with the social hormone vasopressin reverses this deficit.

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Molecular model of histone protein which wraps up DNA strands.

New condition hints at structural protein’s role in autism

by  /  22 January 2021

Mutations in genes that encode a histone, which gives structure to chromosomes, can lead to developmental delay and congenital anomalies.

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DNMT3A protein attaches a methyl group tag onto the DNA base cytosine.

Autism-related conditions converge on same loss of DNA tags

by  /  20 January 2021

Mutations in the autism-linked gene DNMT3A lead to the behaviors and gene-expression changes seen in different neurodevelopmental conditions.

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Illustration of firing neurons.

Autism protein may shape neuronal firing patterns

by  /  14 January 2021

Cells with excess UBE3A, an autism-linked protein, have atypical firing properties that can be corrected by limiting the protein’s levels, according to new research.

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Lost sleep sparks lasting social problems in SHANK3 mice

by  /  14 January 2021

Sleep disruption early in life has long-lasting consequences for mice missing a copy of the autism-linked gene SHANK3.

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New gene therapy methods deliver promise

by  /  14 January 2021

Two unpublished studies detail improved techniques for delivering gene therapies to the brain.

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