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It’s Here! Announcing 2011’s Top Ten Advances Autism Research

December 20, 2011 10 comments

Every year, Autism Speaks documents progress toward its mission to discover the causes and best treatments for autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and identifies the most important autism research achievements of the year. Our “Top Ten” list for 2011 includes discoveries on how frequently autism recurs in families and the extent to which “environmental,” or non-genetic influences, increase the risk of autism.  All of the research described in this list will profoundly shape the future of autism research in 2012 and beyond. Some of these remarkable findings are already delivering real-world benefits to individuals and families struggling with autism.

“Not only has the research community continued to make significant progress towards effective treatments, 2011 offered some game-changing discoveries that help us understand underlying causes of ASD,” says our Chief Science Officer Geraldine Dawson, Ph.D. “Some of these discoveries will have direct and immediate impact on quality of life of people with autism.”

Our Top Ten list comes about through the recommendations of our science leadership and the members of our scientific advisory committee. It reflects the exponential rate of discovery we’re now seeing in autism research—progress made possible by the joint commitment of government health agencies and private organizations such as Autism Speaks. In other words, made possible by YOU—our families, donors and supporters.  We thank you for your commitment to research, both in terms of your financial donations and your participation in research.

To read about the major autism research discoveries of the past year, please see our Top Ten Autism Research Advancements of 2011.

Table of Contents

(Order does not imply relative importance.)

More than Just Genes…
Population Screening Reveals Dramatically Higher Autism Rates…
Baby Siblings at Risk…
De Novo Genetic Changes Provide New Clues for Autism…
Different Forms of Autism Share Striking Brain Similarities…
Prenatal Vitamins Before and After Conception May Decrease Autism Risk…
Gene Knockout Mouse May Offer Leap Forward in Autism Animal Models…
Tweaking Electrical Activity in the Brain Impairs & Restores Mouse Social Behaviors…
More Evidence Linking Immune System to Some Forms of Autism…
Earlier Autism Screening Shows Promise…

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