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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 2021
Baby in mother's lap watching her mouth move as she talks.

Infant siblings of autistic children miss language-learning clues

by  /  6 May 2021

So-called ‘baby sibs’ watch adults’ faces just as much as children without autistic siblings do, but they don’t understand spoken language as well.

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Autism-related conditions linked to altered visual perception

by  /  5 May 2021

A test of binocular rivalry may distinguish between autism subtypes and help researchers screen the efficacy of certain drugs.

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Woman is holding her fingers to her forehead in pain.

Pain keeps autistic women and girls home from work, school

by  /  4 May 2021

More autistic women and girls report daily pain than do men and boys with the condition.

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Younger brother giving older brother a haircut at home.

Siblings boost autistic people’s daily-living skills

by  /  4 May 2021

Autistic people with at least one sibling make greater gains in adaptive functioning than their only-child counterparts do.

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April 2021

Loss of CHD8 from cerebellum disrupts movements, not social behaviors

by  /  26 April 2021

Deleting the autism-linked gene CHD8 from specific cells in the cerebellum, a brain region important for movement, leads to motor deficits but does not alter social behaviors in mice.

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Gaze-tracking app predicts autism diagnosis in toddlers

by  /  26 April 2021

A mobile phone app that tracks a toddler’s gaze as she watches short videos can distinguish between children who later receive an autism diagnosis and those who do not according to a new study.

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VItamin and probiotic supplements float in space with food colored pink and green on black

The gut’s connection to autism

by  /  21 April 2021

Autistic children are up to four times as likely as their non-autistic peers to have digestive problems, and several small studies show they may also have atypical microbial communities living in their guts.

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A group of six images of fruit fly brains show networks in green and pink.

Poor sleep could be core feature of autism, related conditions

by  /  15 April 2021

Fruit flies with low expression of a gene linked to neurodevelopment have disrupted sleep, poor memory and altered social behavior.

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Macaques on dead trees on Cayo Santiago.

Friends of friends: How monkey island’s residents bonded after Hurricane Maria

by  /  13 April 2021

On 20 September 2017, Hurricane Maria passed over Puerto Rico’s Cayo Santiago Island, home to more than 1,500 non-native rhesus macaques. After the storm, the monkeys formed new, unexpected relationships in ways that could offer clues about autism.

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Ultrasound of a human fetus.

Slow head growth in utero may augur developmental difficulties

by  /  9 April 2021

The pace of fetal head growth is associated with behavioral outcomes two years later, according to a new study.

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