Take a look back at the most important developments in autism research in 2012, including notable papers, top techniques, major controversies and predictions for the future.
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.
A growing body of research suggests that microglia, traditionally known as the brain’s clean-up crew, may have other important functions in the brain.