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Spectrum: Autism Research News

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Environment

From parental age to infection during pregnancy, environmental elements can influence autism risk.

December 2021
wooden pebble shapes stacked on top of each other, at varying heights, and according to colors of the spectrum.

Autism by the numbers: Explaining its apparent rise

by  /  22 December 2021

For Spectrum’s fourth annual book, we offer a guide to prevalence estimates.

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Illustration of DNA helix highlighting the methylation process.

DNA methylation in autism, explained

by  /  13 December 2021

How chemical tags called methyl groups position themselves on genetic sequences may hint at some of the causes of autism.

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October 2021
Illustration: microbes clumped together forming the shape of a brain. The microbes are pink, blue, aqua, and red. Set against a dark blue background.

Despite flurry of findings, doubts dog gut microbes’ role in autism

by  /  19 October 2021

The possibility of microbial treatments for autism has inspired a burst of research and nascent clinical trials, but new research suggests these efforts rest on shaky scientific ground.

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Rising star: Brian Lee pushes the limits of autism epidemiology

by  /  14 October 2021

Brian Lee has transformed the science of linking prenatal experiences to a child’s chances of having autism; his work taps social skills as well as statistical acumen.

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September 2021

No link between epidurals and autism, two studies confirm

by  /  28 September 2021

Children born to people given an epidural during labor do not have an increased chance of having autism, according to two new studies.

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A concerned man holds his toddler close

Severe infection may raise odds of autism in some children

by  /  17 September 2021

Mock viral infections impair social memory in mice with a mutation tied to autism, and autistic boys are more likely than their non-autistic peers to have had serious infections early in life.

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August 2021
Pregnant woman holding two white pills in her hand.

Prenatal exposure to antipsychotic medication does not increase odds of autism, ADHD

by  /  20 August 2021

Children born to mothers who take antipsychotic drugs during pregnancy are not more likely to have autism or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or to be born preterm or underweight.

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July 2021
Young child sitting at table with head down, asleep.

Autistic children’s sleep problems linked to behavioral regulation issues

by  /  5 July 2021

Young autistic children with sleep troubles tend to have difficulty regulating their behavior later in childhood.

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April 2021
Baby in utero surrounded by pills, on bright blue background

The link between vitamins, supplements and autism, explained

by  /  14 April 2021

Too little — or too much — of certain substances during pregnancy may increase the odds of having a child with autism. Here we explain what scientists know about these associations.

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Twin sisters spending their time using laptop and smart phone at home

Genes drive autistic people’s reactivity to environmental cues

by  /  2 April 2021

Genes influence how autistic people react to sights, sounds and other sensory cues, whereas environmental factors shape their tendency to notice and seek out such stimuli, a new study in twins suggests.

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