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Spectrum: Autism Research News

TOPIC

The Brain

Charting the structure and function of the brain’s many circuits may unravel autism’s mysteries.

May 2008

Christopher Walsh: Solving mysteries of the mind in the Middle East

by  /  13 May 2008

At first glance, the waiting room at the Ministry of Health Hospital in Muscat, Oman, may look different than that of your average American hospital. Men dressed all in white and women in black burqas wait in separate rooms, even if they are members of the same family. But talking to these families soon reveals just how similar they are to their American counterparts, says Christopher Walsh, a neurologist who has studied neurodevelopmental disorders in the Middle East for nearly 10 years.

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March 2008

Restless sleep marks autism disorders

by  /  27 March 2008

For parents of children with autism, bedtime can be a boondoggle.

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Unraveling mitochondria’s mysterious link to autism

by  /  24 March 2008

In the past two weeks, autism researchers and advocacy groups have been agog with news that autism could be linked to an extremely rare group of metabolic diseases.

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Research clarifies serotonin’s link to autism

by  /  13 March 2008

Serotonin is most commonly talked about in association with depression and anxiety. But for nearly 50 years, hyperserotonemia ― an elevated level of blood serotonin ― has been noted in roughly a third of autism cases.

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February 2008

Mouse models for autism debut

by  /  19 February 2008

Two research groups have achieved an elusive goal: producing mouse models that show distinct social and behavioral abnormalities reminiscent of autism.

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Sense of ‘self’ impaired in autism

by  /  13 February 2008

People with autism struggle to see their own role in social situations. That’s the conclusion from the first study to scan individualsʼ brains while they interact with another person – a technique that could lead to a diagnostic tool.

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Brain growth could be early sign of autism

by  /  11 February 2008

As many as one in every three people with autism develop a macrocephalus, or extremely enlarged head, at some point in their lives, an observation largely accepted as fact. But how or why this happens ― and whether it happens consistently enough to be useful in diagnosing autism ― remains contentious.

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MEG imaging simplifies mapping of autistic brains

by  /  4 February 2008

Imagine being confined for at least half an hour to a dark, claustrophobic tunnel, in a machine so obnoxiously loud that it sounds like you’re in an oil drum with a jackhammer pounding on the outside. Thatʼs whatʼs involved in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): an experience enough to make even the bravest among us flinch.

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January 2008

Genes link autism and immunity

by  /  30 January 2008

A new genetic study is lending support to the notion that immune system abnormalities and some forms of autism go hand in hand.

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Fragile X symptoms reversed in mice

by  /  3 January 2008

Fragile X syndrome is a rare and devastating condition, and a risk factor for autism. New research suggesting the condition is reversible in mice has some wondering whether treatments for the syndrome ― and for some forms of autism ― could be on the horizon.

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