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Spectrum: Autism Research News

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Science & Society

From funding decisions to scientific fraud, a wide range of societal factors shape autism research.

September 2013

How does the body dictate speech?

by  /  2 September 2013

A shifting understanding of the role of motor control in people with autism who also have speech deficits raises important questions about language development in the disorder.

August 2013

In autism, head and body size varies with gender

by  /  29 August 2013

Girls with autism tend to have smaller heads and bodies than their typically developing peers, whereas boys with the disorder tend to have average-sized heads and slightly larger bodies, report two studies published in July.


How gender influences the autism brain

by ,  /  27 August 2013

Understanding the basis of sexual dimorphism in autism may not only inform our treatment of this condition, but may translate to therapies for many other mental illnesses, say Nirao Shah and Devanand Manoli.


Can epilepsy cause autism?

by  /  26 August 2013

Teasing apart the link between autism and epilepsy opens the door for a possible preventive option for some cases of autism. But is the potential worth the risks?


Study aims to capture autism’s transition into adulthood

by  /  26 August 2013

A large study in the U.K., described 23 July in BMC Public Health, is following 450 teenagers with complex health problems as they graduate from pediatric healthcare services and enter the adult system.


Ritalin reaction

by  /  23 August 2013

Some children with autism and hyperactivity have a genetic intolerance to methylphenidate (Ritalin), the drug commonly prescribed for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, reports a new study published 16 July in Pharmacogenomics.


Genetics: Genes near Williams region linked to autism traits

by  /  23 August 2013

Genes near the chromosomal region implicated in Williams syndrome are involved in epilepsy and autism-like behaviors, according to a study published 12 June in the European Journal of Human Genetics.


Abnormal brain immune cells: Autism’s cause or result?

by  /  19 August 2013

Mounting evidence finds abnormally high levels of immune cells in the brains of people with autism. But how do we separate cause from effect?

A woman in a yellow sweater sits on a couch and uses a laptop computer.

Intelligence stable across life, says 40-year autism study

by  /  15 August 2013

Children who have severe autism symptoms, epilepsy or poor intelligence and language skills fare worse as they age than their peers with milder symptoms, according to two long-term studies published in July, one of which spanned 40 years.


Classroom quality

by ,  /  13 August 2013

Preschool-aged children with autism make developmental and behavioral gains, regardless of the type of classroom in which they are enrolled, say Brian Boyd and Samuel Odom.