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Spectrum: Autism Research News

News Archive

February 2022
Micrograph of neurons with excess neurons due to excess MECP2 expression.

Protein complex points to new route to Rett syndrome

by  /  18 February 2022

Mutations in a newly identified protein complex that interacts with the Rett protein also lead to a Rett-like condition in mice, researchers say.


Top autism candidate gene tied to newly identified syndrome

by  /  17 February 2022

Mutations in the autism-linked gene PAX5 underlie a range of traits, including developmental delay, intellectual disability, seizures and autism.

Colorful illustration in red and bright aqua blue, of a pizza / pie chart with researcher's hand taking a slice.

By the Numbers: Autism funding over time, West African research, racial reporting

by  /  16 February 2022

This edition of By the Numbers plots the rise of biology-centric autism grants, a dearth of West African autism research and the lack of racial data in intervention studies.


Gut molecule linked to decreased myelination in mouse brains

by  /  14 February 2022

Targeting the molecule, 4EPS, with an experimental drug may be a way to ease anxiety for autistic people, the researchers say. But not everyone is convinced.

A diverse group of elementary age children are sitting together and are watching an educational video on a digital tablet.

Most autism intervention studies lack data on race, ethnicity

by  /  14 February 2022

Only a quarter of more than 1,000 autism intervention studies published since 1990 report on participants’ races and ethnicities, and just one included a Native American participant.

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

Community Newsletter: Do tweets help autism research papers take flight?

by  /  13 February 2022

Tweets this week feature research about the increases in downloads and citations papers get through social-media shares, as well as findings that tie three autism-linked genes to a new point of convergence.

Conceptual illustration of female brain versus male brain.

Searching for the biology behind autism’s sex bias

by  /  11 February 2022

The fact that autism seems to affect more boys than girls is often attributed to diagnostic gaps, but the skew remains largely unexplained. Some scientists are turning to basic biology for answers.

Illustration of hybrid objects: part light bulb, part lab vial, some in blue and some in red to signify null and replicated results

Null and Noteworthy: Autism and aging, anorexia overlaps, pregnancy effects

by  /  10 February 2022

In this edition of Null and Noteworthy, researchers replicate encouraging findings on autism and aging and shoot down a host of potential links between pregnancy complications and having a child with autism.

Pregnant woman standing in front of open refrigerator at night.

Anorexia before or during pregnancy linked to having a child with autism

by  /  7 February 2022

The connection is likely mediated by environmental, not genetic, factors, according to a new study.

Speech bubble formed by a network of communication

Community Newsletter: Lessons from lockdowns, screen-time skepticism, protein transport in the brain

by  /  6 February 2022

Pick up threads about how remote learning can benefit autistic students, why a study about screen time deserves scrutiny and how a newly discovered form of cellular communication could yield clues about autism.