News / Profiles

Meet the dynamic duo scanning every autism mouse brain

by  /  24 October 2016

At the Mouse Imaging Centre in Toronto, Jacob Ellegood and Jason Lerch are taking on autism’s complexity by scanning the brain of every autism mouse model they can acquire.

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General consensus: As many as 1 in 150 people carry a mutation in a region of the genome associated with autism. Stephen Isis / Getty Images

Many people harbor large mutations linked to autism

by  /  24 October 2016
DNA deletions and duplications tied to autism crop up in people without the condition, too.
Structural issues: Neurons carrying mutations in Rett syndrome genes may have defects in microtubules (red), which form the cell skeleton. Robert S. McNeil / Science Source

Drug duo may reverse effects of Rett mutations in cells

by  /  21 October 2016
A pair of existing drugs normalizes the appearance and activity of neurons derived from the skin of individuals with Rett syndrome.
Dangerous design: Genetic mutations that crop up in a small subset of cells may play an outsized role in autism risk. Radiokukka / iStock

‘Synonymous’ mosaic mutations may up autism risk

by  /  20 October 2016
A type of mutation long thought to be harmless has turned out to play an unexpected role in autism.

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EunikaSopotnicka / iStock

Many children rely on emergency room for psychiatric care

by ,  /  26 October 2016

People with mental health conditions — especially children and the elderly — are more likely than those with physical illnesses to end up in the emergency department for their care.

Sight sense: A visual brain region may be less synchronized with other brain regions in children with autism (bottom) than in typical children (top).

Scans during sleep spotlight early brain asynchrony in autism

by  /  26 October 2016

Brain scans of sleeping children with autism reveal reduced synchrony between a brain region that processes emotions and structures involved in social communication.

Illness links: People with autism are at risk for a variety of other medical conditions.

Network analysis gives clues to other ailments in autism

by  /  25 October 2016

Genes linked to autism are associated with a variety of other ailments, including cancer, heart conditions, autoimmune disorders and gut problems.

Hispanic family taking a selfie

Rare look at Hispanic families confirms autism’s genetic pattern

by  /  20 October 2016

One of the first studies to explore Hispanic families with a history of autism reveals that parents of children with the condition show some autism features themselves.

Hyperactivity hint:  Children who outgrow their autism diagnosis may still have difficulty maintaining focus.Alistair Berg / Getty Images

Some children may truly outgrow autism

by  /  19 October 2016

Children who officially lose their autism diagnosis show no residual signs of the condition.

fzant / iStock

Autism features may be more severe in old age

by ,  /  18 October 2016

As more individuals with autism begin to reach old age, researchers have the opportunity to explore what the condition looks like in the elderly, and how best to support this population.

Regulatory web: A short piece of RNA that is altered in autism regulates genes whose proteins interact in a network.

Micro-molecules may loom large in autism

by  /  17 October 2016

The brains of people with autism contain unusual amounts of short regulatory RNAs.

Neighborhood watch: Children who live in certain areas may have limited access to medical services. Meinzahn / iStock

Geographic analysis reveals disparities in autism detection

by  /  13 October 2016

School and medical records for children with autism in largely Hispanic neighborhoods often do not reflect the children’s condition.

Heavy pill on scale

Side effects of meds weigh heavily on children with autism

by  /  12 October 2016

A sweeping study of military health records reveals that children who take drugs to ease autism features are at risk for obesity-related conditions.

Family matters: Siblings with autism may not carry the same large mutation.Michael H. /  Getty Images

Nature of risk mutations varies with families’ history of autism

by  /  10 October 2016

Large autism-linked mutations tend to be inherited in families with a history of the condition. By contrast, they often arise spontaneously in families with a single affected person.

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