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Spectrum: Autism Research News

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Signs & Symptoms

Autism’s core symptoms accompany a constellation of subtle signs that scientists are just beginning to unmask.

Toddler stepping towards parent, in front of window.

What developmental milestones say about autism research: A conversation with Susan Kuo and Elise Robinson

by  /  10 August 2022
Shifts in diagnostic criteria have only added to the condition’s bedeviling heterogeneity, an analysis of smiling, sitting, walking and other early milestones in more than 17,000 autistic children reveals.

Null and Noteworthy: Metacognition, balovaptan bust, pattern recognition

by  /  21 July 2022
This month, we pore over null results from a study of the accuracy of emotion recognition skills in autistic people, clinical trials of a vasopressin drug called balovaptan, and an analysis of ‘systemizing’ abilities in autistic children.

The most personalized medicine: Studying your own child’s rare condition

by  /  7 July 2022
A handful of scientists are committed to advancing research on the autism-related genetic conditions their own children have.
June 2022
Brain made up of two different medicines

Meet the company trying precision medicine for autism

by  /  27 June 2022

Swiss biotech Stalicla hopes to bring precision medicine to autism. Experts praise efforts to identify autism subgroups, but evidence to support the company’s claims has yet to be seen.

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A computer-rendered analysis of neurons

Autism-linked mutation disrupts brain circuit to change social behavior

by  /  24 June 2022

Therapies that target the circuit could boost social activity, new findings suggest.

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Poor sleep shifts social circuit in mice

by  /  20 June 2022

Even temporary bouts of too little non-REM sleep can lead to long-term changes in how the animals respond to certain social situations, new research suggests.

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May 2022

Researchers publish new dataset on minimally verbal autistic people

by  /  18 May 2022

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology published the first repository of vocalizations from minimally verbal autistic people. Those with few or no spoken words still produce a range of phonemes, or units of sound, that may serve as developmental markers or intervention targets.

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Child in dark room with thermometer showing 100.8.

Fever doesn’t ease challenging traits in most autistic children

by  /  17 May 2022

The findings contradict a previous study, whose design may have been biased to find an effect.

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Scientist Lucia Peixoto portrait.

Rising star: Lucia Peixoto, breaking down the interplay between sleep and autism

by  /  9 May 2022

The young researcher from Uruguay uses her expertise in genetics — and discipline as a former athlete — to untangle sleep’s role in neurodevelopmental conditions, one experiment at a time.

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April 2022
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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Faulty inhibition foils long-term memory in Rett mice

by  /  11 April 2022

The animals recall fear more readily if a set of inhibitory neurons in the hippocampus is switched on.

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Autism and menopause: Q&A with Rachel Moseley and Julie Turner-Cobb

by  /  7 April 2022

Menopause poses significant challenges for autistic people, according to a small survey published in 2020 — the first to explore the transition among people with autism traits.

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March 2022

Web-based autism screening service raises a host of concerns

by  /  21 March 2022

Neurona Health, a company in San Francisco, California, backed away from part of its newly launched services after Spectrum started reporting about them.

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