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Spectrum: Autism Research News

Tag: serotonin

August 2022
Scientist Gül Dölen smiles while looking towards the window in her lab's office.

In deep water with Gül Dölen

by  /  3 August 2022

A researcher’s existential crisis led to a scientific breakthrough.

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May 2022
An illustration of a colorful, psychedelic landscape featuring two people standing on a hill speaking to one another

Tripping over the potential of psychedelics for autism

by  /  31 May 2022

Drugs such as LSD act primarily on the serotonin system, which is implicated in autism — and some autistic people who experiment with psychoactive compounds report enhanced social connections, among other benefits. But researchers have more questions than answers.

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October 2021

Serotonin shapes social memory signals

by  /  26 October 2021

Social memory, which may be altered in autism, depends on serotonin-sensitive neurons that send signals from the medial septum to the hippocampus.

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September 2021
Illustration shows two octopi interacting on a yellow background.

Getting eight arms around autism

by  /  8 September 2021

Octopuses can solve some of the same problems as people but do so in unusual ways.

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August 2021

Drugs boost serotonin, socialization in multiple autism mouse models

by  /  6 August 2021

The finding that MDMA and an experimental serotonin agonist increase sociability across six different model mice suggests that disparate autism-linked mutations converge on the same underlying pathways.

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June 2021
Illustration of transporter mice in brain maze

After 60 years, scientists are still trying to crack a mysterious serotonin-autism link

by  /  4 June 2021

The high levels of serotonin seen in the blood of some autistic people have confounded scientists for more than half a century. Despite so little progress, some researchers refuse to give up.

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February 2021
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 2020
Two silhouettes, of child and an adult in a twilight colored setting. We can see inside the brain and interactions with medicine and the brain. The child's head is surrounded by clouds and the adult head is in the clear.

Why serotonin medications may yet help children with autism

by  /  28 January 2020

A class of medications used to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder seems to ease compulsive behaviors in adults with autism. Why can’t we tell if these medications work similarly in children with the condition?

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December 2019
A single ecstasy pill on a blue background.

Distinct brain pathway underlies ecstasy’s social effects

by  /  11 December 2019

The drug popularly known as ecstasy may boost sociability through brain circuits distinct from that underlying its ‘high.’

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May 2019
Brown and black mice in a cage, socializing

Drug may deliver ‘ecstasy’ of social interactions to autistic people

by  /  23 May 2019

The ability to learn from social experiences wanes by adulthood, at least in mice — but the recreational drug ecstasy may bring it back.

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