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Spectrum: Autism Research News

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Genes

Rare or common, inherited or spontaneous, mutations form the core of autism risk.

Ultrasound in black and white shows a pattern.

Heart anomalies abound in mouse models of autism

by  /  23 May 2022
Of nine genetic models examined in a new study, all had some incidence of cardiac abnormalities. But the problems varied widely depending on the affected genes.
Lab mice (Mus musculus), tribe Balbc, three 13 day old babies with eyes still closed, laying side by side

Sleepy mice with autism-linked mutation struggle to fall asleep

by  /  19 May 2022
Mice with a mutated copy of SHANK3 fail to establish normal sleep patterns during development.

Psychiatric conditions hospitalize almost one in four autistic women by age 25

by  /  17 May 2022
The findings, based on Swedish national registry data, suggest a critical need to expand mental health services for autistic people.
May 2022
Three views of zebrafish.

Novel gene linked to brain size in autistic people

by  /  16 May 2022

The gene, YTHDF2, may be one of several that contribute to an autism subtype marked by an unusually big brain.

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Young woman sitting alone at window in the shadows.

Autistic LGBTQ+ people report frequent mental health problems

by  /  16 May 2022

The co-occurring conditions may stem from the heightened stress people in minority communities experience.

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Information loss may weaken autism genetic scores

by  /  13 May 2022

Even the best data practices and technology drop key variants in attempts to predict autism likelihood.

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Clinicians lack confidence in diagnostic interviews with Black mothers

by  /  13 May 2022

Implicit biases might be to blame, and the discrepancy persists across clinics, regardless of maternal education, family income and a child’s IQ score.

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Neuron with dendrites, showing white on solid black.

DDX3X loss affects male, female mouse neurons differently

by  /  12 May 2022

The sex-specific effects may help elucidate why the small number of boys with DDX3X syndrome are born to unaffected mothers.

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Color-coded brain images showing reduced thickness of superior frontal gyrus and other regions associated with presence of increased levels of inflammatory moleucle IL-6.

Inflammation may reshape brain regions tied to autism

by  /  6 May 2022

Having a genetic predisposition to inflammation is linked to structural changes in brain regions implicated in neurodevelopmental conditions.

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SYNGAP1 protein boosts cognition, blocks seizures in mice

by  /  4 May 2022

Ramping up levels of one isoform of the autism-linked protein reverses traits in model mice, a new study shows.

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April 2022

Mice missing key clock gene show autism-like traits

by  /  28 April 2022

A new study is the first to link social, repetitive and motor behaviors to mutations in BMAL1, which regulates the body’s circadian rhythms.

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Mini biopsies point to source of lethal seizures in model mice

by  /  26 April 2022

Interneurons that fail to propagate electrical signals in mice that model Dravet syndrome may cause the animals, like people with the autism-linked condition, to die suddenly.

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Book cover conceptual illustration of chromosome superimposed with genetic tree.

A whisper of autism: Fragile X carriers and the autism phenotype

by  /  21 April 2022

Among people who carry the fragile X premutation, about 14 percent of boys and 5 percent of girls meet the criteria for autism, but the ‘broad autism phenotype’ may be far more common.

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