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Science News About Autism

Schizophrenia, Autism Risk Gene Trajectories Point to Shared Causes

Science Update

Schizophrenia, autism risk gene trajectories point to shared causes

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NIH-supported NeuroBioBank Joins Autism BrainNet in Brain Donation Initiative

Press Release

Two of the world’s largest brain tissue banks unify efforts to collect and distribute a critical number of brain donations for important autism research.

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NIH Joins Public-Private Partnership to Fund Research on Autism Biomarkers

Press Release

James McPartland, Ph.D. of Yale University will lead a new four-year $28 million Biomarkers Consortium project that aims to improve clinical evaluation of treatments for social impairment in children with autism.

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Dr. Insel Reflects on Autism Awareness Month

Science Update

Dr. Insel describes recent accomplishments related to autism spectrum disorder over the past year—from the reauthorization of the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee to promising therapeutic results from clinical trials.

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Largest Autism Gene Dragnet Fingers 33 Prime Suspects

Science Update

Many patients with psychosis develop health risks associated with premature death early in the course of their mental illness, researchers have found.

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New Grants Fund Cross-lifespan Services Research for Autism Spectrum Disorder

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NIH-funded projects aim at improving access, timeliness of interventions.

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Common Gene Variants Account for Most Genetic Risk for Autism

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Most of the genetic risk for autism comes from versions of genes that are common in the population rather than from rare variants or spontaneous glitches.

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NIMH Twitter Chat on Autism Spectrum Disorder Diagnosis

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NIMH Twitter Chat on Autism Spectrum Disorder Diagnosis

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Disorganized Cortical Patches Suggest Prenatal Origin of Autism

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The architecture of the autistic brain is speckled with patches of abnormal neurons, according to research partially funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, published in the New England Journal of Medicine on March 27, 2014.

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Brain Region Singled Out for Social Memory, Possible Therapeutic Target for Select Brain Disorders

Science Update

The hippocampus houses learning and memory—specifically the storage of knowledge of who, what, where, and when. Using a special transgenic mouse, researchers have now pinpointed a hippocampal region called CA2 that is important for social memory, the ability of animal to recognize another of the same species. Understanding this region could be useful in understanding and treating disorders characterized by altered social behaviors such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and autism.

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NeuroBioBank Gives Researchers One-stop Access to Post-mortem Brains

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The NIH NeuroBioBank provides researchers with one-stop access to post-mortem brains.

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Earliest Marker for Autism Found in Young Infants

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Earliest Marker for Autism Found in Infants

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New Data Reveal Extent of Genetic Overlap Between Major Mental Disorders

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The largest genome-wide study of its kind has determined how much five major mental illnesses are traceable to the same common inherited genetic variations.

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Skewed Norms Weaken Case for Early Brain Overgrowth in Autism

Science Update

Biases in standardized norms used to compare data on head size weakens evidence for early excess brain growth in autism, say NIMH intramural researchers.

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Fat-free See-through Brain Bares All

Press Release

Scientists can now study the brain’s finer workings, while preserving its 3-D structure and integrity of its circuitry using a breakthrough method, called CLARITY, that substitutes a clear gel for fat that normally holds the brain’s working components in place, making its normally opaque and impenetrable tissue see-through and permeable.

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New NIH Funding for Two Autism Centers of Excellence

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The National Institutes of Health announced new funding for two Autism Centers of Excellence (ACE), bringing to eleven the number of ACE centers now being funded for up to five years.

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Autism Risk Unrelated to Total Vaccine Exposure in Early Childhood

Science Update

A child’s risk for developing an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is not increased by receiving “too many vaccines too soon,” according to a new study published in The Journal of Pediatrics.

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Prevalence of Parent-reported Autism

Science Update

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Health Resources and Services Administration released a report titled Changes in Prevalence of Parent-reported Autism Spectrum Disorder in School-aged U.S. Children: 2007 to 2011–2012.

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Developing Male Brain Exposed to Less Stress-Protective Protein

Science Update

Why are rates of schizophrenia and autism higher in males? New evidence implicates an enzyme expressed in the placenta that helps protect the developing fetal brain from adverse effects of maternal stress early in pregnancy.

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Five Major Mental Disorders Share Genetic Roots

Science Update

Five major mental disorders share some of the same genetic risk factors, the largest genome-wide study of its kind has found.

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Precursor Symptoms to Autism Detected in 6-Month-Old Infants

Science Update

Some autism symptoms can be seen in 6-month-old infants, possibly leading to even earlier intervention for this disorder.

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Study Documents that Some Children Lose Autism Diagnosis

Press Release

An NIH-supported study has confirmed that some children who are accurately diagnosed in early childhood with autism lose the symptoms and the diagnosis as they grow older.

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