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Autism Speaks

Compound Eases Autism Behaviors in Mice

April 25, 2012

A compound that inhibits the brain chemical glutamate reduced repetitive behaviors and partially improved sociability in mouse models of autism. Though preliminary, the findings represent an important advance in autism research because they are the first to show consistent benefits from a pharmaceutical agent across two core symptoms.

Mom’s Age and Autism Risk

April 23, 2012

Autism researchers study the link between parental age and autism risk because the relationship provides important clues to the factors that lead to autism. For example, increasing age may bring greater cumulative exposure to toxic chemicals. Older moms have increased risk of pregnancy complications, and as a woman’s eggs age, they are more likely to carry genetic changes that can affect fetal development. 

Newly Discovered Autism Gene Opens New Avenue of Research

April 05, 2012

Scientists have discovered a gene whose expression is twelve times higher than normal in the brains of persons with autism. The gene, dubbed MSNP1AS, may increase autism risk in a manner that has been little studied in the past.