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Spectrum: Autism Research News

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Signs & Symptoms

Autism’s core symptoms accompany a constellation of subtle signs that scientists are just beginning to unmask.

October 2009

SFN blows into Windy City

by  /  16 October 2009

It’s that time of year again — fall foliage, plump pumpkins and, if you’re a neuroscientist, the mad, mobbed scenes at the Society for Neuroscience (SFN) annual meeting.

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Behind the headlines

by  /  6 October 2009

The news yesterday was hard to miss: 1 in every 100 children apparently has autism, according to two new studies.

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September 2009

Michael Wigler: Applying simple logic to complex genetics

by  /  18 September 2009

Interested more in ideas than in dominating a crowded field, Michael Wigler decided to apply his expertise in cancer genetics to studying poorly understood features of autism.

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August 2009

New autism risk genes may bolster fetal testosterone theory

by  /  25 August 2009

A team of British researchers has garnered some of the first genetic evidence supporting their theory that sex hormones play a role in the development of autism.

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Study raises questions about autism-gut connection

by  /  18 August 2009

Children with autism are no more likely than healthy children to have some of the gastrointestinal symptoms — such as diarrhea, acid reflux and abdominal discomfort — previously tied to the disorder, according to one of the first long-term investigations of the supposed link.

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Gene ties trust hormone to Williams syndrome and autism

by  /  3 August 2009

Studying the relatively well-defined genetics of Williams syndrome may help unravel the poorly understood genetic and neurobiological roots of autism, researchers say.

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July 2009

Eye-tracking brings focus to ‘theory of mind’

by  /  29 July 2009

People with Asperger syndrome don’t automatically show ‘theory of mind’, the ability to understand the desires and beliefs of others, according to a report published 16 July in Science. Instead, they seem to use deliberate reasoning to understand social behaviors, learned after years of practice in the real world.
 
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Schizophrenia risk genes tied to immunity, autism

by  /  24 July 2009

Several new genetic variants associated with schizophrenia lie in regions important for immune function and associated with autism. This suggests that both disorders stem partly from abnormal activation of the immune system, say some researchers.

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Studies of brain structure boost ‘connectivity theory’ of autism

by  /  21 July 2009

The brains of people with autism have structural abnormalities that disrupt normal connections between brain regions and impede the flow of information across the brain. That’s the conclusion of a 20-year-old theory supported by several new studies.

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New autism gene points to cellular calcium imbalance

by  /  14 July 2009

A common variant of a gene called CACNA1G — which makes a channel that helps regulate calcium flow between cells — may increase the risk of developing autism, according to research published in Molecular Psychiatry.

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