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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.

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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A family of Macaques aat the Yerkes National Primate Research Center Field Station, Lawrenceville, Georgia.

Macaques’ social skills tied to variation in autism-linked genes

by  /  7 March 2022

Genetics strongly influences some aspects of the monkey’s social behavior, including tendencies to solicit grooming and sit or play alone.

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February 2022
Woman going over homework with distracted child.

Early language loss in autistic children not tied to later communication problems

by  /  28 February 2022

Many autistic children experience language regression for about three months in early childhood, but this lapse does not appear to foretell future communication issues.

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Conceptual illustration of child sleeping under blanket with multiple EEG waves overlaid on top and a window on left showing it is daytime and window on right showing nighttime.

Cracking autism’s sleep conundrum

by  /  25 February 2022

Sleep problems may contribute to or derive from autism traits — or both. After decades of work, researchers are beginning to uncover the biological connections between the two conditions, revealing new paths to potential treatments.

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