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Spectrum: Autism Research News

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Beyond the Bench: A conversation with Kristin Sohl

by  /  13 January 2022

When pediatrician Kristin Sohl isn’t building programs to improve care for and research about autistic people, you can find her reading psychological thrillers or playing Pokémon Go.

Motor skills in autism: A missed opportunity

by ,  /  4 January 2022
Motor differences are more relevant than has historically been appreciated for understanding, assessing and supporting people on the spectrum.
A loose grid of same-sized colored cubes, at different angles, representing data comparison.

Pitfalls in using autism claims data: Q&A with Lindsay Shea

by  /  14 December 2021
Insurance claims data are useful for autism research, but the field needs to standardize how they are mined, Shea says.
Illustration of large globe shaped like a brain sitting in center of room and showing Latin America prominently.

Diversifying autism brain banks: Q&A with Verónica Martínez-Cerdeño

by  /  25 October 2021
The postmortem brain tissue available for autism research is overwhelmingly from people of Western European heritage. Verónica Martínez-Cerdeño and her colleagues are working to change that.

Latest Opinion

Rethinking the origins of neurons: Q&A with Tomasz Nowakowski

by  /  20 January 2022

Excitatory and inhibitory neurons can derive from the same cellular source in the developing human brain, a new study suggests, overturning a 20-year-old hypothesis. Tomasz Nowakowski discusses the finding’s implications for autism research.

Parent with toddler and clinician with clipboard.

Reimagining autism screening: A conversation with Roald Øien

by  /  21 December 2021

The questionnaires used to screen for autism are far from perfect, and tweaking them may not be enough. Roald Øien wants researchers to find better solutions.

Professor Andrew Whitehouse surrounded by playful children in the busy clinic in Subiaco Western Australia.

Beyond the Bench: A conversation with Andrew Whitehouse

by  /  24 November 2021

Andrew Whitehouse talks about his conservation efforts in the Australian Outback, what it’s like to be an identical twin and why he leaves work promptly at 5 p.m.

Dr. Audrey Brumback in her lab with her hair and lab coat flying out behind her.

Beyond the Bench: A conversation with Audrey Brumback

by  /  3 November 2021

Audrey Brumback riffs about volunteering in Mexico, having a lab next door to her husband’s and why she sometimes cries at work.

An illustration shows mother and child facing a grey monolithic shape that breaks apart to reveal a bright monitor that signifies remote assessments.

Rethinking autism assessments in the time of COVID-19: Q&A with Bishop, Zwaigenbaum

by  /  2 November 2021

Moving most clinical assessments online during the coronavirus pandemic has created a digital divide while closing some geographical ones, say Somer Bishop and Lonnie Zwaigenbaum.

Mayada Elsabbagh portrait in her messy kitchen, drinking coffee.

Beyond the bench: A conversation with Mayada Elsabbagh

by  /  13 October 2021

Mayada Elsabbagh talks about her “neurotic scheduling” (and its limits), why she is not active on social media, and her lab’s cookie time.

Coloured transmission electron micrograph (TEM) of a SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus particle in pink and purple on deep blue background..

How to protect vulnerable autistic adults during the coronavirus pandemic

by  /  29 September 2021

Autistic adults are especially prone to contracting COVID-19 and to having complications from it. We need mitigation strategies and vaccination policies to better protect them.

Q&A with W. David Lohr: Antipsychotics, polypharmacy among autistic preschoolers

by  /  21 September 2021

Hundreds of preschool-aged children in Kentucky began taking antipsychotic medicines in 2012, according to an analysis of Medicaid records. Lohr discusses what it will it take to get them behavioral therapies instead.

Illustration of large microscope with spotlight on DNA strand representing focus on basic research leaving families in the twilight waiting room.

Autism research continues to stress basic science over improving interventions

by  /  14 September 2021

For 40 years, the preponderance of autism research has focused on understanding the causes and characteristics of the condition rather than testing assessments or interventions in community settings.

Scientist Ethan Scott takes aim with a bow and arrow in his backyard.

Beyond the Bench: A conversation with Ethan Scott

by  /  13 September 2021

Ethan Scott packs his lab with math, physics and computer science experts to decode sensory brain networks in zebrafish models of autism.

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