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Autism in fragile X syndrome tied to seizures, sleep problems

Source: [Spectrum, Hannah Furfaro | October 25, 2017] In people with fragile X syndrome, autism is often accompanied by seizures, trouble falling asleep and anxiety, a new study suggests1. Fragile X syndrome is an inherited form of intellectual disability. Small studies and family surveys have hinted that people who have both fragile […]


‘Mini-gene’ therapy relieves features of Rett syndrome in mice

Source: [Spectrum, Hannah Furfaro | October 11, 2017] Delivering a fragment of the Rett syndrome gene, MECP2, into neurons eases features of the syndrome in mice, according to a new study. The findings appeared today in Nature1. The MECP2 protein is a master regulator of other genes, and a lack of it leads […]


Maternal infection may trigger autism traits via neuronal ‘patches’

Source: [Spectrum, Marissa Fessenden | October 2, 2017] Patches of overactive neurons in the brains of mice exposed to inflammation in the womb may lead to autism-like features in the mice, a new study suggests1. Treating pregnant mice with an antibiotic prevents these patches in their pups, a related study suggests2. The patches […]


Babies can learn that hard work pays off

Study finds infants try harder after seeing adults struggle to achieve a goal. Source: [MIT News Office, Anne Trafton | September 21, 2017] If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. A new study from MIT reveals that babies as young as 15 months can learn to follow this […]


Studies help explain link between autism, severe infection during pregnancy

Bacterial populations in mother’s GI tract may play a central role. Source: [MIT News Office, Anne Trafton | September 13, 2017] Mothers who experience an infection severe enough to require hospitalization during pregnancy are at higher risk of having a child with autism. Two new studies from MIT and the […]