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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.

September 2018
Photo: Autistic woman Becky Audette lies on a couch under a purple blanket.

Rebooting Becky’s brain

by  /  12 September 2018

An electrical brain implant all but erased the obsessions that had consumed Becky Audette, years after her autism diagnosis. Could similar implants help other people with severe autism?

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Artwork shows a flock of birds flying inside the head of a boy.

How a ‘pacemaker’ for the brain could ease autism traits

by  /  4 September 2018

Looking at the brain as a whole suggests that nudging flawed sets of neurons to collaborate better might alleviate autism traits.

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August 2018

Long-term study shows language’s role in easing autism features

by  /  31 August 2018

Difficulties with social communication appear to wane as toddlers with autism mature into young adults, perhaps due in large part to improvements in language ability.

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Little boy with headphones on sits at a table, making a funny face.

Proposed revisions to global diagnostic manual for autism raise concerns

by  /  29 August 2018

Many autism researchers express satisfaction with the similarities between the ICD-11 and the DSM-5. But some have raised concerns about ways in which the two diagnostic manuals appear to diverge.

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Drawing shows scientists measuring three identical sets of objects, each arranged in a different way.

Inconsistent prevalence estimates highlight studies’ flaws

by  /  28 August 2018

How researchers design autism prevalence studies has a significant impact on the results, says Eric Fombonne.

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Study quantifies prevalence of autism in India

by  /  27 August 2018

About 1 in 100 children in India under age 10 may have autism, and nearly 1 in 8 at least one neurodevelopmental condition.

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Premature baby in hospital, attended by adult

Complications during pregnancy may contribute to autism risk

by  /  22 August 2018

High blood pressure, preterm birth and other pregnancy complications may increase the risk of autism.

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electrode cap on a styrofoam head model.

Multipart device monitors various senses in babies

by  /  17 August 2018

A new assemblage of tools precisely gauges a baby’s biological response to sights, sounds and tactile stimuli all at once.

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Lone teen walking downstairs into shadowy area of a school staircase hallway, other kids pass by together.

The hidden danger of suicide in autism

by  /  8 August 2018

Many people with autism entertain thoughts of suicide and yet show few obvious signs of their distress. Some scientists are identifying risks — and solutions — unique to autistic individuals.

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Kids shoes in hallway showing one boy standing alone by a group.

Rare duplication within chromosome 15 delivers relatively mild blow

by  /  7 August 2018

Children who have a rare extra copy of one segment on chromosome 15 have better cognitive abilities and daily living skills than those with a duplication that forms an extra chromosome.

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