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In Brief

  • Clinical research: Schizophrenia in family ups risk of autism
    7 September 2012
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    A family history of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder increases the risk of autism, according to an epidemiological study published 2 July in the Archives of General Psychiatry. The results suggest that these disorders share underlying mechanisms.

  • Molecular mechanisms: Drug corrects excitable mouse brains
    5 September 2012
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    A compound called baclofen restores the balance between different types of brain signals and alleviates autism-like behaviors in mice, according to a study published 17 July in Translational Psychiatry. A similar drug called arbaclofen is in clinical trials as a treatment for autism and fragile X syndrome.

  • Cognition and behavior: Early words improve autism outcome
    4 September 2012
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    Children with autism who spoke their first words before 2 years of age may have better outcomes than those who talked later, according to a study published 7 June in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.

  • Genetics: Study finds risk gene for autism in males
    31 August 2012
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    Mutations in AFF2, a gene located on the X chromosome, are about five times as common in men with autism as in controls, according to a study published 10 July in Human Molecular Genetics.

  • Clinical research: Fragile X unlinked from intelligence
    29 August 2012
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    Women who have intelligence quotients in the normal range may nevertheless have fragile X syndrome, often described as the most common inherited form of mental retardation, according to a case study published 27 June in Molecular Autism.