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Brain Res. 2011 Mar 22;1380:3-9. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2010.11.077. Epub 2010 Dec 1.

The promise and the pitfalls of autism research: an introductory note for new autism researchers.

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Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, The MIND Institute, University of California, Davis, Sacramento, CA 95817, USA.


The last decade has seen an enormous growth in the quantity of research directed at understanding the biological underpinnings of autism spectrum disorders. This increase has been spurred on, in part, by research funding provided through private, parent advocacy groups. While increased funding and entry into autism research by scientists from many disciplines has facilitated the speed of discoveries germane to establishing the etiologies of autism, there remain a number of roadblocks to understanding autism sufficiently well to foster new treatments. This short article provides a brief overview of some of the achievements and some of the difficulties in conducting autism research.

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