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Spectrum: Autism Research News

As recently as the mid-1990s, autism was thought to be a rare disorder that led to severe mental disability. But since then, its reported incidence has ballooned, and it is thought to encompass conditions that vary widely in character and severity. Still, its causes, treatments and even definition remain to be pieced together.

This collection of articles was produced as an editorial collaboration between and Nature. It originally appeared in Nature Outlook: Autism.

Featured Articles

Epidemiology: Complex disorder

by  /  6 December 2012

Researchers are digging into the myriad causes of autism to refine its definition and find elusive biological signatures.


Genetics: Searching for answers

by  /  6 December 2012

Solving the riddle of autism genetics will require looking beyond the growing list of candidate genes to epigenetics and personalized medicine.

Child development: The first steps

by  /  6 December 2012

Because infants born into families with autism are more likely to develop the condition, studying them might lead to ways to diagnose people in the general population earlier.


Adulthood: Life lessons

by  /  6 December 2012

We know little about autism past adolescence, but a well-studied generation of children with autism will change that.

Diagnosis: Redefining autism

by  /  6 December 2012

Draft diagnostic guidelines are raising concerns that mild forms of the disorder may no longer be recognized.

Treatments: In the waiting room

by  /  6 December 2012

After years of making do with drugs developed for other conditions, doctors and scientists are eagerly pursuing drugs that target the social symptoms of autism.

Perspective: Imaging autism

by  /  6 December 2012

Several studies in the past two years have claimed that brain scans can diagnose autism, but this assertion is deeply flawed, says Nicholas Lange.

Teachers and students talk with each other while walking through a corridor.

Culture: Diverse diagnostics

by  /  6 December 2012

The study of autism around the globe must account for a variety of behavioural norms in different societies.

Perspective: Brain scans need a rethink

by ,  /  6 December 2012

Head movement can bias brain imaging results, undermining a leading theory on the cause of autism, say Ben Deen and Kevin Pelphrey.

TAGS:   autism