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Spectrum: Autism Research News

Opinion /


Expert opinions on trends and controversies in autism research.

Previous articles
February 2013

The 2003 paper proposing signaling imbalance in autism

by ,  /  26 February 2013

In 2003, John Rubenstein and Michael Merzenich first described the theory, now popular in autism, that the disorder reflects an imbalance between excitation and inhibition in the brain. Takao K. Hensch and Parizad M. Bilimoria review the paper and its impact on the field.


Optimal outcome

by  /  15 February 2013

Some children classified as having autism outgrow their diagnosis, but it’s not yet clear why this group does better, says Cathy Lord.


Flexible brain

by  /  8 February 2013

Transcranial magnetic stimulation may provide a noninvasive approach to studying how connections in the human brain change in response to new information, and how that process is altered in autism, says Lindsay Oberman.


Adult onset

by  /  5 February 2013

A growing number of reports of adult-onset symptoms in Phelan-McDermid syndrome underline the need to follow people with the disorder throughout their lives, says Katy Phelan.

Students in classroom in China.

China’s growing awareness of treatments for autism

by  /  5 February 2013

Helen McCabe’s analysis of autism interventions in China underscores the need to provide information on evidence-based treatments to parents and teachers.

January 2013
A child plays hopscotch on a playground blacktop.

New normal

by  /  29 January 2013

New Jersey’s autism rates, which are consistently higher than those of other U.S. states, add weight to the possibility of a true increase in autism prevalence, says Walter Zahorodny.


Why crowdsourcing is not just for Wikipedia

by ,  /  22 January 2013

Crowdsourcing allows volunteers to become citizen scientists, archivists and journalists. Ventures such as the Interactive Autism Network can harness their power to advance autism research, say Paul Law and Cheryl Cohen.


Exploring enigmatic links between mitochondria and autism

by  /  8 January 2013

Mitochondrial deficits may account for the range of symptoms and neurological deficits seen in autism and explain why it preferentially affects boys, says Douglas Wallace.


Better biomarkers

by  /  4 January 2013

New funding will help Seaside Therapeutics, a Massachusetts-based company, develop biomarkers to track the success of treatments for autism, says Aileen Healy.

December 2012

How to undo stereotypes that hinder women in science

by  /  11 December 2012

Late this summer, a paper from Yale University researchers led by Jo Handelsman delivered some sobering news: There is still a clear bias against female scientists. The findings confirm the impression of many women in science, at all career levels, who feel undervalued.


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