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  • Study downgrades autism gene's effects to rare glitches
    16 February 2015
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    After eight years of prominence as an autism risk gene, a new analysis significantly brings down CNTNAP2’s importance in the disorder: According to the study, rare mutations in a single copy of the gene are unlikely to cause autism. 

  • Autism gene guides early neuron development
    12 February 2015
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    The little-studied autism gene ANKRD11 helps to package DNA in the nucleus and plays a critical role in the early growth and positioning of neurons.

  • Symptoms in children with autism follow diverse paths
    9 February 2015
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    Within months of being diagnosed with autism, preschoolers with the disorder may already be on distinct trajectories, according to a study published 28 January in JAMA Psychiatry.  The findings suggest that the severity of autism symptoms does not track with the ability to function in daily life.

  •  Some sibling sets arrive at autism with different mutations
    5 February 2015
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    Less than one-third of sibling pairs with autism who carry rare mutations in autism-linked genes share those mutations, according to the largest study yet to sequence whole genomes of people with the disorder. The study questions the assumption that autism’s risk factors run in families, but some experts are skeptical.

  • Mouse study bolsters case for oxytocin in autism
    2 February 2015
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    Oxytocin has long been eyed as a treatment for autism, but trials in people with the disorder have yielded conflicting results. A new study bolsters the case for the so-called ‘trust hormone’ as an autism therapy, finding that it eases social deficits in a mouse model of the disorder.