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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.

November 2022
Tuan Chao speaks about her research.

Tying PPFIA3 to autism: A quick take at SfN with Tuan Chao and Maimuna Paul

by  /  15 November 2022

Work in fruit flies has helped Paul decode a neurodevelopmental syndrome in children caused by rare de novo variants in the gene PPFIA3.

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Illustration of multipolar neurons.

Consistent, convergent pathways link two forms of autism

by  /  15 November 2022

People with dup15q syndrome and those with idiopathic autism have similar patterns of altered gene expression in early brain development and later in life.

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A grid of clocks placed over a colorful gene sequence.

Autism-linked genes clock daily oscillations

by  /  14 November 2022

Rhythmic variations in the genes’ brain expression levels may help explain the sleep problems that often accompany the condition.

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Single astrocyte on black background.

Mouse studies cast astrocytes as stars of sensory perception

by  /  13 November 2022

Data from two separate research teams suggest the cells are key to sensory hypersensitivity in fragile X syndrome.

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Photograph of a parent crossing a city street with two children

A mix of common and rare variants shapes autism inheritance patterns

by  /  4 November 2022

The study also reveals a link between language development and common variants.

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Three scans of zebrafish brains.

Zebrafish point to new gene involved in brain overgrowth, autism

by  /  1 November 2022

The gene, YTHDF2, has not previously been linked to autism.

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October 2022
Woman sits on a hospital bed and looks out of a window.

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

by  /  31 October 2022

The findings, based on Swedish national registry data, suggest a critical need to expand mental health services for autistic people.

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New RNA tool prompts protein production in select cells

by  /  28 October 2022

The technique could be used to identify and control cells involved in autism.

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Image of a synthetic mouse embryo.

Lab-grown ‘embryoids’ offer new window into gene-trait relationships

by  /  26 October 2022

The developmental models have advantages over natural embryos and other synthetic models, such as organoids, but present technical and ethical challenges.

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Conceptual illustration of a group of brain scans.

Boosting brain power: A conversation with Damien Fair

by  /  25 October 2022

Collecting brain scans from thousands of people can be challenging in autism research; data-sharing and collaborative efforts can help drive results that stand up to statistical scrutiny.

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