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In Brief

  • 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.

  • Molecular mechanisms: Serotonin mimics may treat fragile X
    28 August 2012
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    Compounds that target the receptor for the chemical messenger serotonin could help treat fragile X syndrome, according to a study published 17 July in Biological Psychiatry.