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Spectrum: Autism Research News

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Mitochondria: An energy explanation for autism

by  /  22 November 2021

People with autism have more mutations than others do in both mitochondrial DNA and nuclear DNA that affects mitochondrial function.

Synaptic overgrowth, hyperconnectivity may define autism subtype

by  /  18 November 2021
Model mice of the subtype also show hyperactivity in a signaling pathway called mTOR, bolstering the idea that distinct forms of autism have different biological roots and may require different treatment approaches.
A gloved-hand holds up a vial against a background of colorful lights that represent a sequenced genome.

Genetic effects stack up in some people with autism

by  /  23 November 2021
Rare variants that alter the expression of genes in the brain contribute to autism in people who also have a rare autism-linked mutation, according to a new study.

Cognitive behavioral therapy may be only mildly effective for anxious, autistic children

by  /  16 November 2021
Many autistic children rate the therapy as less effective at treating their anxiety than their parents and clinicians do.

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

Community Newsletter: Which came first, the diet or the gut microbiota?

by  /  21 November 2021

In this week’s Community Newsletter, we look at discussions about the relationship between autism and the gut microbiome, plus a new single-cell chromatin remodeling atlas.

Clinician sitting with young boy looking at drawings together.

Age at autism diagnosis, first intervention drops to under 3 years

by  /  19 November 2021

Autism diagnoses in the United States now precede developmental services and interventions, according to a new study.

By the Numbers: Black neuroscience speakers, mildly effective CBT, autism’s diagnostic odyssey

by ,  /  19 November 2021

This edition of By the Numbers logs the continued underrepresentation of Black speakers at neuroscience meetings, mildly-effective cognitive behavioral therapy and early autism diagnoses.

Illustration shows a cartoon-like simple figure made out of a switchboard, with colorful cables converging on an area deep in the brain.

Brain’s sensory switchboard has complex connections to autism

by  /  15 November 2021

An atypical thalamus may underlie not only sensory issues in autism but also difficulties with social skills, attention and memory.

Including immune cells in brain organoids improves model’s accuracy

by  /  15 November 2021

Cortical organoids that contain non-neuronal brain cells called microglia may reflect human neurodevelopment more faithfully than those that don’t.

Speech bubble formed by a network of communication

Community Newsletter: Autistic researcher strengths, challenging the medical research model

by  /  14 November 2021

In this week’s Community Newsletter, we dive into two studies that look at how the autism research paradigm could become more inclusive.

New studies reveal how autism might alter synapse formation, pruning

by  /  12 November 2021

The work fills in gaps about how synapses change before and after birth — essential knowledge for understanding whether synapse development differs in autism.

Gene therapy for rare form of autism may treat another

by  /  11 November 2021

A MECP2 gene therapy for Rett syndrome eases repetitive behaviors, anxiety and hyperactivity in a mouse model of Pitt-Hopkins syndrome.

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

Spectrum Launch: Slack time, job searches, pandemic mentoring

by  /  11 November 2021

An online community is helping many new principal investigators through a tricky time, plus other resources for early-career autism researchers.

Dispatches from SfN 2021: Mitochondria, Rett therapy and oxytocin

These short reports from Spectrum journalists highlight some of the autism-related findings that caught our attention at the meeting this past week.

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