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Spectrum: Autism Research News

TOPIC

Genes

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

September 2010

Genetics: De novo mutation rate higher in autism

by  /  30 September 2010

Spontaneous harmful mutations are more frequent in individuals with autism and schizophrenia, according to two studies published in September.

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Molecular mechanisms: Autism brains show ‘angry’ microglia

by  /  27 September 2010

A study of postmortem tissue shows that microglia, cells that provide immune protection to the brain, are altered in the brains of individuals with autism.

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Genetics: Common mutation linked to risk of mental disorders

by  /  27 September 2010

A common variation within a region on chromosome 16 puts a large proportion of the general population at risk for intellectual disability, according to a study published in August in Nature Genetics.

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Genetics: Postmortem study links new gene to autism

by  /  27 September 2010

A study of postmortem brain tissue shows that RPP25, a gene on the autism-linked 15q22-26 chromosomal region, is expressed differently in the brains of people with the disorder. This is the first time this gene has been implicated in autism.

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Molecular mechanisms: Fragile X mutation worsens memory loss

by  /  27 September 2010

Genes responsible for Alzheimer’s disease and fragile X syndrome — a form of mental retardation linked to autism — may operate through the same pathway, according to a study published in The Journal of Neuroscience.

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Studies tie fragile X syndrome to famous cancer pathway

by  /  23 September 2010

A drug that interferes with a biochemical pathway important in cancer can reverse some brain defects in mouse models of fragile X syndrome, according to a study published 11 August in the Journal of Neuroscience.

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The power of talk

by  /  21 September 2010

In order to understand the interaction between genes and environment in autism, researchers in different disciplines will have to move back and forth between those two realms, stretching out of their intellectual comfort zones. But if the mood at an interdisciplinary workshop two weeks ago is any indication, that challenge is also a source of excitement.

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X-linked gene increases autism risk in boys

by  /  16 September 2010

A newly characterized gene on the X chromosome may be disrupted in up to one percent of people with autism, researchers reported Wednesday in Science Translational Medicine.

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Fragile X protein tied to snags in stem cell development

by  /  13 September 2010

The protein missing in fragile X syndrome is necessary for the proper development of neural stem cells — self-renewing cells that can differentiate into more specialized types, including neurons — according to a paper published in the August issue of Human Molecular Genetics.

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Ralph Adolphs: Setting the pace for cognitive research

by  /  9 September 2010

For nearly 20 years, Ralph Adolphs has been trying to figure out how the human amygdala works. An avid outdoorsman, Adolphs has run a dozen 50- and 100-mile races, and his colleagues say he approaches science with the same stamina and intensity. He has already published more than 100 scientific papers, several of them revealing intriguing ties between the amygdala and autism.

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