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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.

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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