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Spectrum: Autism Research News

Tag: pregnancy

February 2019
baby in utero, with placenta and antibodies and molecules

What the placenta could reveal about autism

by  /  19 February 2019

Understanding the interactions between the placenta and the uterine lining could explain how maternal immune activation leads to autism.

December 2018
A premature baby in an incubator drinking from a bottle.

Study links autism to high levels of fat hormone

by  /  7 December 2018

Autism may be accompanied by high levels of the hormone leptin in early childhood.

Siblings, a baby and a toddler, play together at home.

How pregnancy may shape a child’s autism

by  /  5 December 2018

Autism is predominantly genetic in origin, but a growing list of prenatal exposures for mother and baby may sway the odds.

November 2018
Illustration shows a maze of elements: human brain, medicine, chromosome, factory, clouds and lightning bolts

Environmental risk for autism, explained

by  /  5 November 2018

Autism results from an interplay between genetics and the environment, but it has been tough to nail down the environmental factors involved.

Outlines of mice neurons have long branches.

Rodent models of autism miss milestone in brain signaling

by  /  4 November 2018

In mice exposed to maternal inflammation in the womb, a key chemical messenger never makes the switch from exciting brain signals to inhibiting them.

A white lab rat on a grey background.

Brain scans of rats reveal molecular clues to autism’s link

by  /  4 November 2018

Rats exposed prenatally to a cocktail of ‘autoimmune’ molecules have altered levels of two types of compounds needed for brain development.


Brain’s immune cells may underlie autism risk from maternal infection

by  /  4 November 2018

A pregnant mouse’s response to infection alters the immune cells in her pups’ brains, and this may contribute to their autism-like behaviors.


Fever in pregnant rats alters pups’ social skills

by  /  3 November 2018

Fever in pregnant rats around the time of delivery disrupts their pups’ communication and social behavior.


Decoy protein defangs immune molecule linked to autism

by  /  3 November 2018

A specially made ‘decoy’ protein prevents an immune molecule from crossing the placenta; the strategy may prevent the brain changes that lead to autism.

September 2018
Feet on scale in home.

Research adds heft to link between autism and obesity

by  /  17 September 2018

Nearly half of American children with autism aged 10 to 17 are overweight or obese.