With recent figures suggesting that one in every 125 children in the UK is classified as autistic, a rise of over 50% in 5 years, and a higher figure estimated in the USA it is more important than ever that we support research into this lifelong condition.
World Autism Awareness Day aims to encourage awareness about the disorder throughout society and highlights the need to help improve the lives of children and adults with autism spectrum disorders. People with the developmental condition are affected in different ways but they generally have difficulties with communication, social interaction and may display unusually narrow interests.
Research into the biomedical causes of autism has developed a great deal over recent years, which has led to a much greater understanding of the condition. Molecular Autism, led by Editors-in-Chief Simon Baron-Cohen and Joseph Buxbaum, publishes articles highlighting causal and risk factors with a focus on potential applications for intervention.
In a new study published today Hedges et al. examined the GABA receptors and genes in related pathways for structural variation, as well as other candidate genes that may be associated with autism. Findings support the role of rare structural variants at multiple genomic loci in autism spectrum disorders and in particular the significant enrichment of rare exonic deletions in NRXN1 in autistic vs. non-autistic individuals. If you would like to receive details of further publications within Molecular Autism please do sign up for article alerts or follow the journal on Twitter.
Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders will soon be publishing a thematic series on reward processing in autism guest edited by Professor Ralph Adolphs and Dr Gabriel Dichter. This series will include research and review articles focusing on topics such as social impairment, reward circuitry dysfunction, neural mechanisms of reward processing in ASD and abnormal social reward processing in autism. If you would like to be informed when this series and other articles are published please sign up for article alerts.