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Spectrum: Autism Research News

TOPIC

Treatments

Efforts to ease the symptoms of autism are beginning to ramp up, with promising candidates in various stages of testing.

September 2010

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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One drug, two birds

by  /  10 September 2010

Seaside Therapeutics has announced results from a phase II clinical trial showing that, in children with autism, STX209 lowers agitation, tantrums, irritability and social withdrawal.

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All included

by  /  1 September 2010

A decade ago, children with disabilities were almost always separated into their own rooms — or even buildings — with specialized teachers and lessons. But some research since then has shown that many of these children can learn well alongside healthy children, and vice versa.

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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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Disability vs. difference

by  /  26 August 2010

People with autism are asserting their right to be different. They say so-called ‘neurotypicals’ are the ones with communication problems, relying on the ‘animalistic means’ of body language, and they don’t understand why their focused, repetitive behaviors are thought to be problematic when neurotypicals indulge in obsessions such as sports and soap operas.

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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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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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Beware the hype

by  /  18 August 2010

If you believe the hype about oxytocin, it’s nothing short of a wonder drug: it can make you trust a stranger, enhance a mother’s bond with her child and, according to a study published earlier this year, improve social skills in individuals with autism. But look more closely, and there is ample cause for caution.

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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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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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