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  • Chili pepper protein can alter behavior of mice
    18 April 2012
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    By manipulating the location of a protein that detects capsaicin, the molecule responsible for the burn in hot chili peppers, researchers can activate subpopulations of neurons and alter the behavior of mice. The results were published 20 March in Nature Communications.

  • Molecular mechanisms: Serotonin regulation linked to autism
    18 April 2012
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    An autism-associated variant in a gene that regulates the chemical messenger serotonin leads to abnormal serotonin regulation and autism-like behaviors in mice. The results were published 3 April in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

  • New diagnostic
    17 April 2012
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    Parents searching for a genetic diagnosis for their child with autism now have a new option: a test that analyzes 62 different genes linked to syndromic autism, meaning cases of the disorder caused by mutation of a single gene.

  • Clinical research: Drug improves quality of life with autism
    17 April 2012
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    Aripiprazole, a drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat irritability in children with autism, may also improve their overall health-related quality of life, according to a retrospective analysis of two clinical trials. The results were published 21 March in Clinical Therapeutics.

  • Workshop report: Regression in autism
    17 April 2012
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    Studies suggest that a subset of children with autism make significant social and language gains in the first year of life, and then experience a dramatic loss of skills, termed regression. On 13 February, SFARI hosted a workshop to explore whether children with regression are a unique subgroup, and concluded that most children with autism show a gradual decline in skills rather than an abrupt loss of abilities.