CHAD SHAW, BRIAN DAWSON, YASUNARI SAKAI, H. ZOGHBI
Sifting through autism’s tangled web
Each person with an autism spectrum disorder has a different disease, yet some commonalities exist, a flurry of studies reveals (SN: 8/13/11, p. 20). Though the finds don’t point to a clear cause or a cure, they inch researchers closer to a deeper understanding of the baffling disorders.
By sifting through genetic differences in a large group of children, researchers find numerous changes that could contribute to autism spectrum disorder (SN Online: 6/8/11). Screening more than 1,000 families, including parents and unaffected siblings, reveals duplicated and missing portions of DNA. Such changes may account for 5 to 8 percent of autism cases.
Other research has focused on gene and