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Spectrum: Autism Research News

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Conversations with experts about noteworthy topics in autism.

Toddler stepping towards parent, in front of window.

What developmental milestones say about autism research: A conversation with Susan Kuo and Elise Robinson

by  /  10 August 2022

Shifts in diagnostic criteria have only added to the condition’s bedeviling heterogeneity, an analysis of smiling, sitting, walking and other early milestones in more than 17,000 autistic children reveals.

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August 2022

Of mice and human interneurons: A Q&A with Moritz Helmstaedter

by  /  1 August 2022

People’s brains have a larger network of inhibitory interneurons than mouse brains do, according to a new study. Changes to that network could contribute to autism or other conditions, says lead investigator Moritz Helmstaedter.

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July 2022
Scientist examining DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) results on a screen in a laboratory.

How an expert panel evaluates genes for autism genetic tests

by  /  22 July 2022

About 15 percent of genes currently included in clinical genetic tests for autism or intellectual disability don’t have enough evidence to support their ties to the conditions, the panel found.

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An abstract "funding mechanism" featuring dollar bills alongside tubes, beakers and wires

New program offers $35K grants to study ‘profound autism’

by  /  18 July 2022

People who have ‘profound autism’ — those with severe intellectual disability, limited communication abilities or both — tend to be excluded from research. The Autism Science Foundation seeks to change that.

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hand points to pause button shape made from pills

Forging a path for vasopressin drugs for autism: Q&A with Suma Jacob

by  /  5 July 2022

After the vasopressin antagonist balovaptan flopped in a late-stage clinical trial, Suma Jacob and her colleagues took stock of all the factors that might have complicated the results.

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June 2022

Prioritizing physical health in autism: Q&A with Alice Kuo

by  /  6 June 2022

The principal investigator of the Autism Intervention Research Network on Physical Health wants to encourage more researchers to study physical health issues in autistic children and adults.

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May 2022
Researcher stands in spotlight that is the shape of a monkey's head.

Why monkey researchers are seeking the spotlight: Q&A with Cory Miller

by  /  25 May 2022

For decades, many researchers who study nonhuman primates kept quiet about their work, concerned about the extreme actions taken by some animal welfare activists. But a growing number are speaking more openly about the importance of their work in an attempt to take back the narrative.

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Autism and the complete human genome: Q&A with Evan Eichler

by  /  10 May 2022

Scientists have at last filled in the missing gaps — an advance likely to inform every aspect of autism genetics research, Eichler says.

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April 2022
Illustration of colorful compass

Ethical gaps in autism genetics: A conversation with Holly Tabor

by  /  29 April 2022

Genetics research has largely failed to generate concrete benefits for autistic people, and its values and goals are due for reassessment, Tabor says.

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The placenta and neurodevelopment: A conversation with Anna Penn

by  /  19 April 2022

The temporary organ may hold clues about the origins of autism and brain development, Anna Penn says — if only researchers would study it.

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Autism and menopause: Q&A with Rachel Moseley and Julie Turner-Cobb

by  /  7 April 2022

Menopause poses significant challenges for autistic people, according to a small survey published in 2020 — the first to explore the transition among people with autism traits.

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