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Spectrum: Autism Research News

News Archive

July 2022
Speech bubble formed by a network of communication

Community Newsletter: An ‘unexpected autistic,’ presynaptic optogenetics, neuroanatomy art

by  /  24 July 2022

Heating up Twitter feeds this week was a new commentary about a rarely discussed perspective on autism, talk about the use of optogenetics tools to manipulate ‘presynapses,’ a possible explanation for decision-making differences between the sexes, and a striking illustration of the human brain.

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Plethora of protein-making machines in neurons may underlie fragile X

by  /  21 July 2022

An overabundance of ribosomes drives an imbalance of proteins produced from long and short genetic transcripts in a mouse model of fragile X syndrome.

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Null and Noteworthy: Metacognition, balovaptan bust, pattern recognition

by  /  21 July 2022

This month, we pore over null results from a study of the accuracy of emotion recognition skills in autistic people, clinical trials of a vasopressin drug called balovaptan, and an analysis of ‘systemizing’ abilities in autistic children.

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Concept illustration of DNA deletion: 2 DNA strands extend horizontally across a burnt orange background. The bottom is intact, while there are gaps in the top strand.

Deletions on chromosome 22 have ripple effects across genome

by  /  20 July 2022

Deletion of the 22q11.2 chromosomal region alters the expression of numerous autism- and schizophrenia-linked genes, most of which are not contained within the deleted region, a new study suggests.

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Genetic underpinnings of brain activity may differ in autism

by  /  19 July 2022

The expression levels of certain genes that track with brain activity are different in autistic people than in their non-autistic peers.

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Many mouths making conversation, with speech bubbles in red and blue.

Community Newsletter: Therapy concerns, job training, a journal’s announcement

by  /  17 July 2022

The buzz this week hovered around the neurodiversity perspective on autism behavioral interventions, a virtual-reality program designed to help autistic people enter the workforce, and an announcement from an autism journal.

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A mother holds her son while on a video call with a doctor.

Access to virtual autism therapy in U.S. could narrow post-COVID

by  /  15 July 2022

When the federal public health emergency expires, so too could temporary insurance coverage of applied behavior analysis conducted remotely. A proposed rule could block those changes, however, at least for people with public insurance.

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A cross-section of the human brain and limbic system

Amygdala-linked brain areas grow differently in autism

by  /  13 July 2022

The growth differences vary between autistic boys and girls and are most apparent among children with prominent social difficulties.

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Figure in space heads towards unknown, dark area.

The final frontier: Autism geneticists take on the noncoding genome

by  /  12 July 2022

The vast stretches of DNA that don’t code for proteins could fill key knowledge gaps about autism genetics. But making sense of it all won’t be easy.

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Timing is key in treating sensory traits in fragile X

by  /  11 July 2022

An experimental drug improves sensory sensitivities in fragile X model mice — but only if it’s administered after certain brain circuits have formed, according to a new unpublished study.

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