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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.

March 2011

Leisure activities

by  /  22 March 2011

Adults with autism benefit in many ways from choosing their own activities: A new study says they get better at decision-making and their social skills improve.

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Mitochondrial function disrupted in children with autism

by  /  17 March 2011

The first study to look at mitochondria — the powerhouses of the cell — in postmortem brain tissue taken from children with autism has found significant abnormalities in their function in some regions of the brain.

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Cognition and behavior: Music is promising autism therapy

by  /  15 March 2011

Integrating music into interventions helps children who have autism with their social skills, language and behavior. But methods should be standardized and tested for effectiveness at home, according to a meta-analysis published in January in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.

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Root strategy

by  /  11 March 2011

A new technique for creating stem cells from hair may help researchers understand how neurons and the junction between them form.

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First-ever Phelan-McDermid meeting has its Eureka moments

by  /  10 March 2011

The First International Phelan-McDermid Syndrome Symposium, held last week in New York City, brought together scientists and patient advocates to share insights — including a surprising realization about mice missing the SHANK3 gene.

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Studies implicate gut bacteria in autism

by  /  7 March 2011

Researchers are exploring the possibility that gastrointestinal bacteria may influence brain development and play a role in autism.

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February 2011

New diagnostic criteria for autism fuel debate

by  /  28 February 2011

The new edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) won’t be published for another two years, but changes proposed to the diagnostic criteria for autism are already sparking heated debate.

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Bad trip

by  /  22 February 2011

Hallucinogens like LSD and MDMA may help people with autism become more sociable, but negative side effects argue against their use.

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Cognition and behavior: Serotonin pathway affects mouse behavior

by  /  22 February 2011

Mice that lack the gene for integrin β3, or ITGB3 — which regulates the levels of serotonin in the blood — groom themselves frequently and show less interest in stranger mice compared with controls, according to a study published in February in Autism Research as part of a special issue on mouse models in autism.

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Genetic background alters behavior of fragile X mice

by  /  21 February 2011

Six strains of mice lacking a gene associated with fragile X syndrome show radically different behaviors though they share the same mutation, researchers reported in January in Autism Research.

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