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Mice may illuminate workings of star-shaped brain cells

by  /  20 January 2017

Two new strains of mice allow researchers to monitor and manipulate brain cells called astrocytes.

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Illustration by Masha Manapov

New method aims to quantify ‘camouflaging’ in autism

by  /  19 January 2017
A combination of multiple diagnostic tests may gauge the extent to which adults with autism attempt to blend in.
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Tour guide: A protein associated with autism (red) escorts RNA molecules across developing brain cells.

In immature brain cells, RNAs hitch ride with fragile X protein

by  /  18 January 2017
A clue to the origins of autism may exist among the molecules that transport RNA in the developing brain.
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Air supply: Some newborns exposed to their own feces in the womb require oxygen and intravenous fluids. Reynardt / iStock

Exposure to feces in womb tied to autism risk

by  /  16 January 2017
Babies who have their first bowel movement before birth have a slightly increased risk of autism, according to a study of nearly 10 million people.

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Remodeled matrix: A network of immune system genes may be overactive in the brains of people with autism.
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Diverse causes of autism converge on common gene signature

by  /  23 January 2017

The brains of people with autism show a distinct molecular signature that reflects alterations in how genes are pieced together and expressed.

Mayra Del Real, 28, holds her newborn baby at the Eisner’s Women’s Health Center on Thursday, 21 January 2016. Heidi de Marco / KHN
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Key provisions could disappear with Affordable Care Act repeal

by , ,  /  17 January 2017

If the ACA is repealed, it could mean loss of coverage for several surprising health provisions, including therapy for children with autism, breast-feeding support for working mothers and assistance with emergency room visits.

Pep Boatella
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Experimental autism treatments put to test in real world

by  /  16 January 2017

Researchers are modifying autism therapies for the various communities tasked with implementing them — a move they hope will make treatments more effective for and accessible to all children.

Moving target: Brain waves known as beta oscillations reflect brain activity that controls body movements and may signal telltale changes in DNA.AJPhoto / Science Source
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Brain-wave patterns distinguish dup15q syndrome

by  /  13 January 2017

Children with an extra copy of the 15q11-13 chromosomal region, the second most common genetic abnormality in people with autism, have unusually strong brain waves called beta oscillations. The preliminary findings, presented Friday at the Dup15q Alliance Scientific Meeting in Orlando, Florida, suggest that beta oscillations could distinguish children with dup15q syndrome from those with other forms of autism.

asiseeit / iStock
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Merger aims to create massive repository of medical records

by ,  /  12 January 2017

A merger between nonprofit California Integrated Data Exchange and the Inland Empire Health Information Exchange could lead to the pooling of medical records of 16.7 million people in California.

Chemical clues: Tags on proteins called histones (burgundy) that scaffold DNA (violet) may help researchers find an autism signature.
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Autism brains bear telltale pattern of chemical tags

by  /  12 January 2017

The brains of many people with autism may exhibit a characteristic arrangement of chemical groups on the proteins that DNA coils around.

Basic biology:  Different genetic variants contribute to autism risk in boys versus girls. Alfred Pasieka / Science Photo Library
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Some autism risk may arise from sex-specific traits

by  /  11 January 2017

Genetic variants that shape physical features that vary with sex, such as waist-to-hip ratio, may alter autism risk.

Seeing spots: The brain responds differently to animations of dots moving in random patterns (right) compared with ones that resemble a person moving (left).
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Brain scans may forecast effectiveness of autism treatment

by  /  9 January 2017

Patterns of activity in certain brain regions may predict how well a child with autism will respond to a behavioral therapy.

Brain barrier: A mutation linked to autism prevents essential amino acids from entering the brain.
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Rare form of autism linked to lack of key nutrient

by  /  5 January 2017

A mutation that prevents some amino acids, the building blocks of proteins, from entering the brain may lead to autism.

Injury-prone:   Children whose mothers lack a college degree are at heightened risk of self-harm.Kris Seraphin / Millennium Images, UK
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Large study shows self-injury common among children with autism

by  /  4 January 2017

About one in four children with autism hit, scratch or otherwise hurt themselves, suggests an analysis of school and medical records for more than 8,000 children.

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