‘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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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.
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.

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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.

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.

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.

Master regulator:  Among CHD8’s many targets is a protein called beta-catenin, which controls cell growth. Julia Yellow

Autism gene needed for growth of neurons during gestation

by  /  7 October 2016

Mutations in one of the strongest autism candidate genes may block the proliferation of neurons during development, according to unpublished results presented yesterday at the 2014 Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in Washington, D.C.

A mutation in a human-specific DNA

Autism risk may originate in stretches of uniquely human DNA

by  /  6 October 2016

Mutations in certain newly evolved stretches of the genome may play a role in autism, although some experts are skeptical of this theory.

diagonal shadow of a family--parents and a girl

Parents miss signs of autism in their daughters

by  /  5 October 2016

Parents of girls with autism are significantly less likely than those of boys with the condition to voice concerns about their child’s social behavior.

Latent link: Few large studies have looked at the link between polychlorinated biphenyls and autism.Bobi / Getty Images

Banned toxins in mothers’ blood tied to autism risk

by  /  3 October 2016

High levels of chemicals called polychlorinated biphenyls in a pregnant woman’s blood may raise the risk of autism in her child.

Four pillars:  The autism-linked proteins SHANK3, DLGAP1, SYNGAP1 and DLG4 form the core of a complex structure critical to communication between neurons.

Proteins that spark learning may play key part in autism

by  /  29 September 2016

A new study ties autism risk to a core team of proteins that facilitate neuronal signaling as an animal learns.

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