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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.

February 2019
Baby with sensors on it's chest for an EKG, or ECG

Nerves that control heart rate may contribute to autism

by  /  13 February 2019

The part of the nervous system that regulates heart rate and breathing may be involved in autism.

Gabin and his father at home in Paris.

Europe’s race to ramp up genetic tests for autism

by  /  13 February 2019

Many countries in Europe are reckoning with the growing demand for genetic tests for autistic people — and the accompanying ethical and scientific considerations.

girl in medical setting

Psychotropic drugs frequently prescribed for autistic people

by  /  11 February 2019

About one in three autistic people in the United Kingdom is prescribed drugs designed to alter brain function.

Child walking with sensors on in motion capture test.

Walking in virtual environment may reveal unique autism gait

by  /  8 February 2019

A two-belt treadmill attached to a specialized display suggests that people with autism have a distinct walking style.

Father helping boy brush teeth

Rapid regression distinguishes rare condition from autism

by  /  7 February 2019

Some children who dramatically lose a range of abilities after age 2 may have a condition called childhood disintegrative disorder.

January 2019
Three views of the human brain show connectivity

Sensory, motor connections may be disrupted in autism brains

by  /  31 January 2019

Links between sensory and motor brain networks may be unusually weak in individuals with autism.

Portrait of boy with autism

Why genetic tests matter for autistic people

by  /  30 January 2019

Genetic tests for people with autism are far from routine and don’t always yield results, but the information they offer can change lives.

Rat neurons

Rat model of autism shows unusual brain growth at birth

by  /  30 January 2019

The brains of rats exposed in utero to the seizure drug valproate show a significant increase in brain size around the time of birth.

profile in many colors

Study strengthens autism’s curious link to gender variance

by  /  28 January 2019

Traits associated with autism and gender variance may co-occur even among typical children — a finding that may ease some of the skepticism about the overlap.


Three spectrums, not one, may define autism

by  /  24 January 2019

Three distinct categories of traits best characterize autism, according to a study of more than 6,000 children.