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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.

October 2018
Illustration of research mice forming the letter 'X'.

Fragile X syndrome’s link to autism, explained

by  /  10 October 2018

Fragile X syndrome is a leading genetic cause of autism. People who have either condition often share certain traits, such as difficulties in social situations.

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Two women seen from behind with arms around each other.

Overlap in traits of autism, attention deficit persists into adulthood

by  /  8 October 2018

Traits linked to autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder tend to co-occur even in adulthood.

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Modifier genes may enhance or diminish the effects of a mutation linked to autism.

Second ‘hits’ may explain autism mutations’ varied effects

by  /  5 October 2018

People who have a mutation linked to autism plus a second genetic glitch tend to have more severe symptoms than those with the mutation alone.

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Illustration shows two people communicating, word bubble above head show that one person is getting less information.

Separate thinking skills underlie autism, attention deficit

by  /  2 October 2018

Theory of mind difficulties are likely to be more central to autism than to attention deficit hyperactive disorder, whereas executive function problems are more often associated with the latter.

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September 2018
Collage image shows figure of person experiencing a tough therapy session

At the intersection of autism and trauma

by  /  26 September 2018

Autism and post-traumatic stress disorder share many traits, but the connection between them was largely overlooked until now.

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Plastic dinosaur, trex and a ghoul

Children with autism have muted fear response

by  /  25 September 2018

Toddlers with autism show less fear when confronted with something scary than do typical children or those with developmental delay.

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Drawing shows scientists moving in different directions in a matrix of molecules and and genetic material.

Newly discovered aspects of fragile X spur next wave of drugs

by  /  24 September 2018

Many drugs for fragile X syndrome have failed in large clinical trials, but candidates that target new aspects of the condition may fare better.

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Two zebrafish swimming.

Blind dates for zebrafish reveal ‘social’ cells in brain

by  /  21 September 2018

A new behavioral test in zebrafish may help researchers zero in on the biology of social interactions.

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Teenager in hallway, sitting alone with head on knees.

Autism in adults often accompanied by depression

by  /  19 September 2018

Depression is more than three times as common among adults with autism as it is in the general population.

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Feet on scale in home.

Research adds heft to link between autism and obesity

by  /  17 September 2018

Nearly half of American children with autism aged 10 to 17 are overweight or obese.

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