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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

Researchers debut unique identifiers for study participants

by  /  2 September 2010

Researchers have devised a system to assign a unique identifier to each participant in an autism study. This Global Unique Identifier, or GUID, allows investigators to see which other studies participants have enrolled in, while maintaining participants’ privacy.

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August 2010

Studies explore amygdala problems in fragile X syndrome

by  /  31 August 2010

The amygdala, a brain region that regulates fear and anxiety, shows abnormal neuronal signaling in a mouse model of fragile X syndrome, according to two studies published this summer. These are the first to explore cellular defects in the region in fragile X.

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Risky secrets

by  /  30 August 2010

For a few hundred dollars and a bit of your spit, you can have parts of your DNA analyzed. If you’re more ambitious, $20,000 — and a lot less than that a year from now — will buy you the sequence of your entire genome. But the real question is should you, and others like you, find out what secrets your genome holds?

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Social factors may drive the spike in autism cases

by  /  27 August 2010

Changes in diagnostic practices, more active neighborhood networks, and an increase in the number of older parents may all contribute to the massive rates of autism in California, says a group of social scientists. But the numbers still don’t add up.

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Fragile X protein linked to potassium channels

by  /  24 August 2010

Mouse models of fragile X syndrome show defects in two kinds of potassium channels — ubiquitous pores that control the flow of electrical current across neurons — in a brain area that processes sound, according to two papers published this summer.

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Norway baby study expected to yield insights into autism

by  /  20 August 2010

The Autism Birth Cohort, based on data from 100,000 Norwegian children and their families, aims to uncover genetic and environmental factors contributing to the disorder.

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Misbehaving mice

by  /  19 August 2010

You’ll never hear Jacqueline Crawley talk about an ‘autistic mouse’. In fact, in her keynote address at IMFAR in May, she implored the audience to never use those two words in the same sentence.

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Kevin Pelphrey: Charting the course of the social brain

by  /  17 August 2010

With robust training in developmental psychology and a techie’s fervor for new tools, Kevin Pelphrey is systematically investigating how the brain changes during development — starting in infants as young as 6 weeks old.

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Brain’s adaptability begins at single synapse

by  /  10 August 2010

Researchers have uncovered an important molecular piece of a learning mechanism that occurs at the junction between neurons. The findings, which may help understand how the brain is disrupted in disorders such as autism, appear in the 24 June issue of Neuron.

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Simple screens

by  /  10 August 2010

In the not-too-distant future, we may be able to diagnose toddlers with autism using a simple clinical test — based on voice patterns, blood or even urine.

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