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Spectrum: Autism Research News

Author

Angie Voyles Askham

Senior reporter

Angie Voyles Askham is Senior Reporter for Spectrum, where she covers neural circuits and gene therapy, among other topics. She proposed and writes Spectrum Launch, a monthly newsletter for early-career researchers. Before joining Spectrum in 2020, she worked in radio journalism and academic publishing. Voyles Askham has a Ph.D. in neuroscience from NYU and a bachelor’s degree in neuroscience from Vanderbilt University. You can email her at [email protected] or find her on Twitter @avaskham.

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[email protected]

May 2021
Neurons in red and green

‘Neurons on a chip’ reveal patterns across autism-linked conditions

by  /  7 May 2021

Activity patterns of neuronal networks link different genetic subtypes of autism that have similar traits, according to new unpublished research.

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Brown rat mother and pup in rustic setting with burlap and wheat.

Maternal antibodies tied to autism bind to budding rat neurons

by  /  6 May 2021

Certain antibodies may shape neurodevelopment by attaching to and invading new neurons in the brain.

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Autism-related conditions linked to altered visual perception

by  /  5 May 2021

A test of binocular rivalry may distinguish between autism subtypes and help researchers screen the efficacy of certain drugs.

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Younger brother giving older brother a haircut at home.

Siblings boost autistic people’s daily-living skills

by  /  4 May 2021

Autistic people with at least one sibling make greater gains in adaptive functioning than their only-child counterparts do.

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April 2021
Brain scan showing communication from amygdala to hypothalamus about social reward.

Brain circuit makes social interactions rewarding, may be altered in autism

by  /  30 April 2021

Blocking connections between the amygdala and hypothalamus prevents mice from finding social interactions as rewarding as they would otherwise.

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Brains scans reveal sharper boundaries between white and gray matter in autistic people.

Thin insulation may explain atypical cortical thickness seen in autism

by  /  23 April 2021

Differences in myelin, the insulation that surrounds neuronal projections, may shade measurements of cortical thickness on brain scans, a new study suggests.

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A group of six images of fruit fly brains show networks in green and pink.

Poor sleep could be core feature of autism, related conditions

by  /  15 April 2021

Fruit flies with low expression of a gene linked to neurodevelopment have disrupted sleep, poor memory and altered social behavior.

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Ultrasound of a human fetus.

Slow head growth in utero may augur developmental difficulties

by  /  9 April 2021

The pace of fetal head growth is associated with behavioral outcomes two years later, according to a new study.

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March 2021
Scanning elecgron micrograph of Faecal bacteria.

Gut microbes shape social behavior in autism mouse model

by  /  26 March 2021

Treating mice missing the autism-linked gene CNTNAP2 with a strain of gut bacteria makes them more social but no less hyperactive.

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Operating room scene shows baby being guided out of belly of mother during a c-section.

Cesarean delivery unlikely to sway child’s likelihood of autism

by  /  17 March 2021

Autism and other neurodevelopmental conditions are more common among children born by C-section than those delivered vaginally, but the procedure itself does not underlie the association, according to a new study.

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