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Spectrum: Autism Research News

Tag: intellectual disability

January 2023
Three groups of people meet and mix at a crossroads.

Autism research at the crossroads

by  /  25 January 2023

The power struggle between researchers, autistic self-advocates and parents is threatening progress across the field.

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Three groups of people meet and mix at a crossroads.

Divisions over ABA

by  /  25 January 2023

Applied behavior analysis, the most common intervention for children diagnosed with autism, is the subject of an intense debate between practitioners and neurodiversity advocates.

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Research image showing neuronal activity in mice exposed to high-frequency sounds.

Missing mechanism helps solve fragile X protein mystery

by  /  24 January 2023

Cells from people with fragile X syndrome overproduce — but don’t accumulate — proteins. New work suggests that excessive protein breakdown may account for this discrepancy, and explain some of the syndrome’s traits.

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Illustration of a signature being signed on a form.

Decisional capacity and informed consent, explained

by  /  23 January 2023

To include more autistic people in research, here’s what scientists need to know about informed consent procedures for study participants who have impaired decision-making capacity.

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Cultured kidney cell with spike-like structures protruding from it.

Mutations in autism-linked gene cause membrane mischief

by  /  19 January 2023

Inactivating TAOK1 prompts tentacle-like protrusions to form all over a neuron’s surface, revealing the gene’s role in molding the membrane.

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Lab images of cilia.

Autism and the cell’s antennae

by  /  4 January 2023

Many autism-linked genes are somehow tied to cilia, the tiny hair-like sensors that stud a cell’s surface. But the question remains whether, and how, cilia differences contribute to the condition.

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September 2022
Illustration of a binocular microscope with an X Chromosome in one eyepiece and cancer cells in the other.

The cloudy connection between fragile X and cancer

by  /  28 September 2022

People with the autism-linked syndrome lack a protein implicated in several cancers, but it’s unclear whether — or how — they are protected from malignancies.

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August 2022
Illustration of hybrid objects: part light bulb, part lab vial, some in blue and some in red to signify null and replicated results.

Null and Noteworthy: Mind reading, specialist shortage, sleep problems source

by  /  23 August 2022

This month, a commonly used emotion-recognition test doesn’t perform as expected — nor does a survey of past efforts to train autism specialists or a hunt for the sources of the sleep problems that often accompany the condition.

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Illustration of a woman speaking. What she is saying is represented by shapes in a speech bubble, which appears over a sheet of writing.

Novel protocol captures autism voices across the spectrum

by  /  17 August 2022

Interview techniques that cater to a range of communication abilities can elicit the perspectives of autistic youth with cognitive and verbal challenges.

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July 2022
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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