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  • Imaging studies question connectivity theory of autism
    11 June 2012
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    Three independent studies presented in May at the International Meeting for Autism Research (IMFAR) in Toronto suggest that much of the brain in people with autism looks the same as that of controls.  The results contradict the so-called connectivity theory of autism, which holds that the brains of people with the disorder have weak long-range functional connections compared with controls.

  • 'Baby sibs' struggle to integrate audio, visual speech cues
    7 June 2012
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    Infants at high risk for autism have difficulty integrating information from different senses, such as vision and hearing, a new study suggests.

  • Immune cells sculpt brain by pruning neuronal connections
    4 June 2012
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    Immune cells called microglia may play a central role in trimming synapses, the connections between neurons, according to research published 24 May in Neuron. These modifications are part of a normal developmental process by which excess synapses in the brain are destroyed.

  • Autism gene PTEN plays vital role in neural stem cells
    31 May 2012
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    Knocking out an autism-linked gene called PTEN only in neural stem cells of the hippocampus, a brain region central to learning and memory, throws the development of new neurons off course in adult mice, according to research published last month in the Journal of Neuroscience.

  • Funding agency seeks success in 'fast-fail' clinical trials
    28 May 2012
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    A new initiative launched by the National Institute of Mental Health aims to redefine clinical trials for autism by funding short, biomarker-based studies that will allow investigators to quickly rule out ineffective compounds.