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Spectrum: Autism Research News

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The latest developments in autism research.

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Illustration of a pregnant woman in a peach-colored shirt and light red pants standing in profile against a backdrop of chromosomes

Autism linked to inflammatory bowel disease in parents

by  /  28 June 2022

The inflammation associated with the disease, particularly in mothers, may contribute to autism traits in children.

two toddlers, a boy and a girl, draw animals on a glass window in thin lines of blue, green and magenta.

Autism’s sex bias disappears after tracking trajectories

by  /  22 June 2022
The male sex bias in autism may in large part be a product of how common diagnostic tools measure traits in boys versus girls at a single point in time, according to a new study.
An illustration of DNA sequencing

DNA may hold clues to oxytocin levels in autistic people

by  /  30 June 2022
Genetic factors could help explain why the ‘social hormone’ failed to benefit autistic people in a phase 3 clinical trial last year.
Illustration of two figures in a field of black circles representing genetic risks. The circles surround the figure on the left and stay farther away from the figure on the right.

Common inherited variants tied to autism show sex bias in families

by  /  23 June 2022
Siblings of autistic females are more likely to have autism than siblings of autistic males are, and mothers of autistic children carry more common, autism-linked variants than fathers do.

Latest News

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

Community Newsletter: Lab collaborations, interneuron network expansion, DDX3X

by  /  3 July 2022

This week’s newsletter trails tweets about neuroscientists who study rodents or humans teaming up with those who study nonhuman primates, the expansion of interneurons networks in the human brain and new findings on the autism-linked gene DDX3X.

Speech bubble formed by a network of communication

Community Newsletter: Fresh takes on theory-of-mind skills, evaluating joint attention, autism’s sex ratio

by  /  26 June 2022

A trill of tweets this week talk about perspective-taking during conversation, watching hands during playtime and accounting for measurement bias during diagnosis.

A computer-rendered analysis of neurons

Autism-linked mutation disrupts brain circuit to change social behavior

by  /  24 June 2022

Therapies that target the circuit could boost social activity, new findings suggest.

Causal inference method mitigates motion bias in autism imaging studies

by  /  21 June 2022

Statistical modeling and machine learning helps blunt the bias in brain imaging studies that exclude young autistic children and those with prominent traits, a new study finds.

Poor sleep shifts social circuit in mice

by  /  20 June 2022

Even temporary bouts of too little non-REM sleep can lead to long-term changes in how the animals respond to certain social situations, new research suggests.

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

Community Newsletter: COVID-19 commentary, cortical MAGICC, IACC Advances

by  /  19 June 2022

Researchers put new findings about COVID-19 and neurodevelopmental conditions in context, tweet about new ways to analyze cortical neuroanatomy and adapt “how it started, how it’s going.”

Mice without DDX3X are slow to grow neurons

by  /  17 June 2022

The gene helps neurons exit the cell-maturation cycle during fetal brain development, a new study shows. But male and female mice respond differently to DDX3X loss.

Two young children play with a tablet computer underneath a blanket fort

Brain’s early visual areas reflect autism’s heritability

by  /  16 June 2022

Inherited genetic factors for autism influence brain development, new studies of autistic children and their younger siblings reveal.

A grid of four figures. The top left and bottom left figures are duplicates, with the bottom inverted by 180 degrees

Data irregularities surface for study of microRNAs in autism

by  /  15 June 2022

The study, which investigated a microRNA’s links to autism, appears to contain duplicated and fabricated data, according to research integrity analysts. Those issues reflect a larger problem in the literature.

Gene therapy targets interneurons to tackle Dravet syndrome

by  /  13 June 2022

The approach, tested in mice, selectively boosts the expression of the autism-linked gene SCN1A in a subgroup of inhibitory cells.

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