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Spectrum: Autism Research News

Tag: prefrontal cortex

April 2022

Histone-modifying drug improves autism-like behaviors in mice

by  /  18 April 2022

The experimental compound, called GSK-LSD1, enhances social preferences and reduces repetitive grooming in mice, according to a new study.

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November 2021
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.

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June 2021
Mouse neuron recordings showing different levels of activity before and after an encounter with an unfamiliar mouse.

Neural network captures noisy neurons in autism mouse model

by  /  18 June 2021

Mice missing the autism-linked gene SHANK3 use more neurons to engage in social behavior than control mice do, reflecting a more disorganized, less efficient brain signaling network.

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February 2021
Man reaches into cabinet while a woman looks on

Single neurons may power key ‘theory of mind’ skills

by  /  8 February 2021

A subset of brain cells signal when someone tries to infer another person’s thoughts, according to a new study.

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Serotonin proteins

Sensor helps scientists spy on serotonin activity in mice in real time

by  /  5 February 2021

A glowing protein tracks serotonin levels and location in the brains of living mice and could yield clues to the neurotransmitter’s role in autism.

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January 2021

Two top autism genes may have a mechanism in common

by  /  13 January 2021

Mutations in two genes linked to autism and intellectual disability boost the immune response and cause synapse dysfunction.

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Senior man lying down in scanning machine.

Studies hint at effects of aging on autistic brains

by  /  12 January 2021

People with autism or autism traits may be especially vulnerable to brain aging and cognitive decline, two studies suggest.

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Heat map of mouse activity.

Circuit linking prefrontal cortex and brain’s relay station regulates social behavior in mice

by  /  11 January 2021

A set of neurons connecting the prefrontal cortex and the thalamus helps regulate social interactions in mice.

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September 2020
Brain images showing differences in signaling in autistic and normal brains.

Brain signal imbalance tracks with sex and with camouflaging autism traits

by  /  17 September 2020

Autistic men show a greater imbalance between excitatory and inhibitory signaling in the brain than autistic women do, which could explain sex differences in ‘camouflaging.’

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August 2020
Micrograph of neurons in mouse brain.

Inside scientists’ quest to map, modulate social circuits in autism

by  /  17 August 2020

A growing number of studies are revealing circuits that may underlie social challenges in autism — and how to fine-tune them.

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