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Critical Insight Into Potential Causes Of Cognitive And Social Changes Associated With Autism

Researchers from Mount Sinai School of Medicine have found that when one copy of the SHANK3 gene in mice is missing, nerve cells do not effectively communicate and do not show cellular properties associated with normal learning. This discovery may explain how mutations affecting SHANK3 may lead to autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). The research is currently published in Molecular Autism.

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a public roadway

Proximity Of Birth To Public Highways Is Associated With Autism

Living near a freeway may be associated with increased risk of autism, according to a study published by a team of researchers from Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California (USC) and the UC Davis MIND Institute. The paper will appear online in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives this week.

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overexpression of mRNA

Researchers Block Neurodegeneration In An Adult Form Of Fragile X Syndrome

Expression of a toxic RNA that leads to Fragile X Tremor Ataxia Syndrome is modifiable by genetic or pharmacologic means, according to new research from U-M Medical School scientists. In the study published online today in the journal Public Library Of Science Genetics, U-M’s Peter K. Todd, M.D., Ph.D., led a team of researchers who examined the expression of a toxic messenger RNA (mRNA) seen in the brains of those afflicted with the syndrome. Check the end of this report for a link to download this open access study.

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a generic medication

Researchers Identify A Potential Breakthrough Treatment For Impaired Sociability In Autism

Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS) researchers have identified a potential novel treatment strategy for the social impairment of people with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), an aspect of the condition that has a profound impact on quality of life. Stephen I. Deutsch, MD, PhD, the Ann Robinson Chair and professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, will discuss the research at EVMS’ Quarterly Autism Education Series at noon, Dec. 14, in the school’s Hofheimer Hall auditorium.

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young boy outdoors

Toddlers With Autism Show Improved Social Skills Following Targeted Intervention

Targeting the core social deficits of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in early intervention programs yielded sustained improvements in social and communication skills even in very young children who have ASD, according to a study funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), part of the National Institutes of Health. The study was published online Dec. 8, 2010, in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry.

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inner structure of Mitochondria in cells

Children With Autism Have Mitochondrial Dysfunction And Are Less Able To Produce Cellular Energy

Children with autism are far more likely to have deficits in their ability to produce cellular energy than are typically developing children, a new study by researchers at UC Davis has found. The study, published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), found that cumulative damage and oxidative stress in mitochondria, the cell’s energy producer, could influence both the onset and severity of autism, suggesting a strong link between autism and mitochondrial defects.

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building blocks

Playing With Building Blocks Of Creativity Help Children With Autism

In an attempt to help children with autism learn the building blocks of creativity, researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) tapped a toy box staple for help – legos. By building lego structures in new and unique ways, children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) learned to use creativity, an important skill that they had seen as very challenging prior to the study.

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