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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
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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Young girl in kindergarten classroom, concentrating.

Age 6 may represent key turning point in autism

by  /  7 April 2021

Many autistic children show continuous improvement in trait severity until they are school-age, at which point progress often levels off.

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Person itching back of neck.

Sensory issues linked to heart-rate differences in autistic youth

by  /  5 April 2021

Autistic children with sensory issues show more intense physiological reactions to unpleasant sounds and other sensations than their non-autistic peers do, a new study shows.

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Twin sisters spending their time using laptop and smart phone at home

Genes drive autistic people’s reactivity to environmental cues

by  /  2 April 2021

Genes influence how autistic people react to sights, sounds and other sensory cues, whereas environmental factors shape their tendency to notice and seek out such stimuli, a new study in twins suggests.

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