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Spectrum: Autism Research News


Nicholette Zeliadt

Managing Editor

Nicholette Zeliadt manages Spectrum’s staff writers and interns, and she commissions and edits news and opinion articles. She joined Spectrum as news writer in 2014. Before that, she was a freelance writer and editor. Her work has appeared in The New York TimesScientific AmericanNature MedicineScience and The Scientist.Nicholette has a Ph.D. in environmental health from the University of Minnesota
and a B.A. in biochemistry from the University of Iowa.

Contact Info

[email protected]

November 2019
micrographs of blood vessels in the brain

Surplus of immune cells may mark brains of autistic people

by  /  11 November 2019

Blood vessels in the brains of more than half of autistic people have an unusually large number of T cells.

Photo: A young child, named Owen, in the waiting and resting area during his testing at the Yale Child Study Center. He clutches a stuffed toy bunny.

Owen’s odyssey: The difficult path to an autism diagnosis

by  /  6 November 2019

This is part 1 of the story of one boy’s long journey to an autism diagnosis and therapy. Part 2 will track Owen’s progress later this year.


Motor problems in autistic people may be grossly underestimated

by  /  4 November 2019

At least one in three autistic children has significant movement difficulties, according to a large study.

October 2019
micrographs of brain areas in red.

Drug counteracts effects of doubled autism gene

by  /  24 October 2019

An experimental drug tamps down the expression of a gene duplicated in an autism-related condition and restores typical behavior in mice.

two neurons on yellow and orange background

Brain’s sensory relay station may play unexpected role in autism

by  /  22 October 2019

Neurons in a brain region called the thalamus may regulate social behavior and play a key role in autism.


Enlarged amygdala may forecast anxiety, depression in autistic children

by  /  22 October 2019

A tiny chunk of the brain’s emotion enter, the amygdala, is enlarged in some autistic children; the larger this piece, the more anxious and depressed the child is likely to be.

Neurons in a mouse brain are highlighted green and yellow

Autism gene’s loss hampers neurons’ trek through developing brain

by  /  21 October 2019

Deleting an autism gene called TRIO derails neurons’ journey to their destination.


Skew in neuron numbers may explain sensory sensitivity in autism

by  /  20 October 2019

Loss of certain neurons on one side of the brain may explain why some autistic people are hypersensitive to touch.


CRISPR therapy may reverse autism mutation’s effects well past infancy

by  /  20 October 2019

Injecting the gene-editing tool CRISPR into the brains of mice may reverse the effects of an autism mutation at any age.


Signaling imbalance in mutant mice supports key autism theory

by  /  19 October 2019

Mice missing a copy of CHD8, a top autism gene, show a signaling imbalance in their brains — a finding in line with a popular hypothesis about autism’s origins.