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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.


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.


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.

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.


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


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.