SFARI NEWS

file:///Volumes/Macintosh HD/Users/pkaplin/Desktop/120515/...

15 May 2012 •

A Newsletter from the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative

NEWS Better tools needed to assess clinical trials Defects in carnitine metabolism may underlie autism Q&A Q&A with Eric Fombonne: Are autism's rising rates real? IN BRIEF Cognition and behavior: Language links differ in autism brains Genetics: SHANK1 mutations found in men with autism Cognition and behavior: Drug improves memory in autism TOOLBOX Sponges made from RNA can knock down gene expression BLOG Trials and tribulations Compensatory mechanisms

NEWS

Better tools needed to assess clinical trials
The past few years have seen an unprecedented number of clinical trials for experimental drugs to treat autism-related disorders, most notably for fragile X syndrome. But as the trials progress, scientists are calling for better methods to measure the drugs' effectiveness.

Read More >

Defects in carnitine metabolism may underlie autism
A genetic defect in the synthesis of carnitine, a molecule that is essential for

1 of 4

5/18/12 3:46 PM

SFARI NEWS

file:///Volumes/Macintosh HD/Users/pkaplin/Desktop/120515/...

proper mitochondrial function, might slightly increase risk for autism in some children, according to research published 8 May in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Read More >

Q&A

Q&A with Eric Fombonne: Are autism's rising rates real?
Child psychiatrist and epidemiologist Eric Fombonne digs through the latest report on the prevalence of autism, suggesting reasons for the apparent increase in the disorder's rates.

Read More >

IN BRIEF

Cognition and behavior: Language links differ in autism brains
The bundles of nerve fibers that connect two regions important for language are abnormal in the brains of children with autism, according to a study published 5 April in the American Journal of Neuroradiology.

Read More >

Genetics: SHANK1 mutations found in men with autism
Researchers have identified deletions in SHANK1 — the third member of a gene family that is closely linked to autism — in five men with the disorder, they reported 4 May in the American Journal of Human Genetics. This is the first study linking SHANK1 mutations to people with autism.

Read More >

2 of 4

5/18/12 3:46 PM

SFARI NEWS

file:///Volumes/Macintosh HD/Users/pkaplin/Desktop/120515/...

Cognition and behavior: Drug improves memory in autism
Propranolol, a drug used to treat heart disease and anxiety, might improve memory and attention deficits in autism, according to a study published in the May issue of the Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society.

Read More >

TOOLBOX

Sponges made from RNA can knock down gene expression
Researchers have created sponge-like assemblies of hundreds of thousands of short fragments of RNA, which can be used to dampen the expression of certain genes, according to a study published 26 February in Nature Materials.

Read More >

BLOG

Trials and tribulations
Clinical trials for fragile X drugs should include a behavioral therapy component, says a parent of a child with the disorder.

Read More >

Compensatory mechanisms
Identifying genetic and other factors that protect children at risk of autism from developing the disorder could provide new avenues for treatment.

3 of 4

5/18/12 3:46 PM

SFARI NEWS

file:///Volumes/Macintosh HD/Users/pkaplin/Desktop/120515/...

Read More >

160 Fifth Avenue, 7th Floor, New York, NY 10010 • 646.654.0066 • sfari.org

4 of 4

5/18/12 3:46 PM

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful