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Spectrum: Autism Research News

News Archive

August 2008

Experts quibble over brain regions involved in emotion and empathy

by  /  6 August 2008

Emotional self-awareness and empathy, two related qualities that those with autism often lack, are associated with activity in the anterior insula, a region of the brain thought to regulate feelings, researchers have found.


Pesticides and pet shampoos to blame for autism?

by  /  1 August 2008

In the past year, there have been numerous reports linking autism and exposure to, among other things, pesticides, power plants and pyrethrin-based pet shampoos.

July 2008

Experts slam NIH study on chelation therapy

by  /  28 July 2008

Researchers and bioethicists are reacting with anger to reports of a US National Institutes of Health study, intended to investigate the controversial chelation treatment for children with autism.


Ready or not, here come genetic tests for autism

by  /  23 July 2008

Late in June, an announcement appeared on the website of GeneDx, a genetic testing company based in Gaithersburg, Maryland. It was highlighted in red with a single word: “new”.


Signs of autism-like traits seen in ‘aloof’ parents

by  /  17 July 2008

Parents of some children with autism rely on othersʼ mouths rather than eyes to read emotions, just as individuals with autism do, according to a study published today in Current Biology.


Autism, some say, is all in the gut

by  /  15 July 2008

Many cases of autism originate not in the brain, but in the gut, according to a few controversial studies published in the past year.


Middle Eastern families yield new genetic clues to autism

by  /  10 July 2008

Autism may interfere with the brainʼs ability to adapt to experience early in development, according to a study published today in Science that uncovers several new risk genes for the disorder.


Face processing network weaker in autism, scientists say

by  /  7 July 2008

People with autism display atypical patterns of brain activity while viewing faces: thatʼs the conclusion from a study that used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to assess what happens in the brain when people see faces.

June 2008

‘Trust hormone’ shows promise as treatment for autism

by  /  25 June 2008

The so-called trust hormone oxytocin could prove to be an effective treatment for autism, but itʼs premature for parents to be dosing their kids with the hormone, researchers warn.


Digital tools arm teens, teachers and parents against autism

by  /  20 June 2008

In February 2006, psychology researcher Gary Mesibov introduced an electronic diary to a few teens with autism at his clinic in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.