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Spectrum: Autism Research News


The latest developments in autism research.

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Scientist Gül Dölen smiles while looking towards the window in her lab's office.

In deep water with Gül Dölen

by  /  3 August 2022

A researcher's existential crisis led to a scientific breakthrough.

A red, white, blue and pink board game-like pathway with several children playing on it sits against a yellow background. The pathway also features several pills, and at the left is a doctor consulting a notepad.

Factors other than autism traits guide therapies for autistic children

by  /  28 July 2022
Most autistic children in the Netherlands have used some sort of treatment, but the number, type and timing varies depending on considerations unrelated to their condition.

Mutations disrupting chromatin interactions contribute to autism

by  /  8 August 2022
The mutations occur spontaneously in noncoding stretches of DNA that control gene expression.
An Ultragenyx employee removes materials from a lab freezer.

Angelman therapy appears safer in restarted trial

by  /  5 August 2022
Interim results from the previously paused trial suggest that doses of the experimental gene therapy drug GTX-102 are well tolerated in children with the autism-linked condition.

Latest News

Child with parent and clinician

Australia drafts guideline for supporting autistic children

by  /  9 August 2022

Government-convened experts laid out 84 recommendations, with a particular focus on affirming neurodiversity and embracing human rights.

Speech bubble formed by a network of communication

Community Newsletter: Whole-genome sequencing from Korea, a question of causality, early milestones

by  /  7 August 2022

It’s not quite back-to-school time, but the chatter on Twitter had us feeling nostalgically collegiate with deep dives into three studies and a philosophical conversation about language and thought.

Illustration shows a road going into the distance, seen from the driver's point of view.

Spectrum Launch: How to break down biases in neuroscience

by  /  4 August 2022

Through a website called Stories of Women in Neuroscience, Nancy Padilla-Coreano aims to shift biases in the field, one conversation at a time.

A pregnant woman and another figure are obscured by shadows

Maternal genetics may confound studies of autism’s link to prenatal factors

by  /  2 August 2022

Women who carry genetic variants tied to autism have an elevated chance of experiencing pregnancy-related events linked to the condition in their children.

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

Community Newsletter: Animal modeling, cannabis and autism, a new editor-in-chief

by  /  31 July 2022

Twitter was not quiet as a mouse this week over two animal studies, a survey of cannabis use by autistic people, and a big announcement from the Journal of Neuroscience.

A brain scan displays images of the amygdala with different sections highlighted in blue, red, orange and other colors.

Anxiety drives amygdala differences in autistic youth

by  /  27 July 2022

Regions of the brain’s fear center expand in autistic children and teenagers with anxiety, but not in their autistic or non-autistic peers without anxiety.

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.

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