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Abnormal expression of genes in psychopathy

The expression of many genes that have previously been associated with autism is abnormal also in violent psychopathy, a new study shows. The researchers used stem cell technology to analyse the expression of genes and proteins in the brain cells of psychopathic violent offenders. Published in Molecular Psychiatry, the findings may open up new avenues […]

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Finding a cause of neurodevelopmental disorders: Scientists uncover a mechanism linking a protein mutation with abnormal nervous system development

Neurodevelopmental disorders arising from rare genetic mutations can cause atypical cognitive function, intellectual disability, and developmental delays, yet it is unclear why and how this happens. Scientists suspected a mutation in a complex of proteins could be the culprit for a group of rare genetic disorders and, now, Salk Institute researchers have identified the molecular […]

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Brain region linked to altered social interactions in autism model

Although psychiatric disorders can be linked to particular genes, the brain regions and mechanisms underlying particular disorders are not well-understood. Mutations or deletions of the SHANK3 gene are strongly associated with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and a related rare disorder called Phelan-McDermid syndrome. Mice with SHANK3 mutations also display some of the traits associated with […]

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Scholars weigh in on new ideas about autism

A new paper that challenges widely held ideas about autism has attracted comments from more than 30 scholars across the disciplines of psychology, anthropology, education, and neuroscience. The authors maintain that many of the behaviors common to autism—including low eye contact, repetitive movements, and the verbatim repetition of words and phrases—are misinterpreted as a lack […]

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How arousal impacts physiological synchrony in relationships

A team of researchers led by a member of the Colorado School of Public Health faculty at the Anschutz Medical Campus examined what type of social interaction is required for people to display physiological synchrony — mutual changes in autonomic nervous system activity. The study also looked at whether the levels of autonomic arousal people […]

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Children of both young and old parents share risk for certain neurodevelopment disorders

Results of a new study in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (JAACAP), published by Elsevier, reports that parental age is linked to the risk for the development of neuropsychiatric disorders in children, including autism spectrum disorder (ASD); attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD); obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD); and Tourette’s disorder/chronic tic disorder (TD/CT). […]

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A step toward better understanding brain anatomy of autism spectrum disorder: Study could lead to development of personalized biomarkers and treatment

Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are often lumped into a single catch-all group, despite significant differences in symptom profile and severity. Further muddying the waters when trying to understand and treat ASD, many previous studies show significant variability in findings. A new study, led by researchers at McGill University’s Faculty of Medicine and the […]

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A simple strategy to improve your mood in 12 minutes

We all have a remedy — a glass of wine or a piece of chocolate — for lifting our spirits when we’re in a bad mood. Rather than focusing on ways to make ourselves feel better, a team of Iowa State University researchers suggests wishing others well. “Walking around and offering kindness to others in […]