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The Brain

Charting the structure and function of the brain’s many circuits may unravel autism’s mysteries.

News

Neural responses to names may underlie language difficulties in some autistic people

by  /  21 September 2020
Minimally verbal autistic people do not differentiate the sound of their own name from that of a stranger, according to a new EEG study.
News
Brain images showing differences in signaling in autistic and normal brains.

Brain signal imbalance tracks with sex and with camouflaging autism traits

by  /  17 September 2020
Autistic men show a greater imbalance between excitatory and inhibitory signaling in the brain than autistic women do, which could explain sex differences in ‘camouflaging.’
News

Fragile X syndrome traits may stem from leaky mitochondria

by  /  11 September 2020
Plugging a leaky mitochondrial membrane may help fragile X neurons to mature and function more efficiently.
September 2020
Neurons in a macaque cortex express parvalbumin in red.
News / Toolbox

Virus-based method manipulates inhibitory neurons in brains

by  /  9 September 2020

A new viral tool can selectively control different types of neurons that dampen brain activity in rodents, monkeys and people.

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August 2020
Two faces interacting socially while data is being recorded, illustration.
News

Facial expressions between autistic and typical people may be mismatched

by  /  28 August 2020

Conversations between an autistic and a typical person involve less smiling and more mismatched facial expressions than do interactions between two typical people.

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News

DNA droplets may be key to Rett syndrome, researchers say

by  /  27 August 2020

Mutations in the MECP2 gene, which are associated with autism and Rett syndrome, interfere with a cell’s ability to form droplets of DNA that silence gene expression.

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Brain images color-coded to show structural changes in autism.
News

Gene expression maps reveal origins of brain changes from autism mutations

by  /  21 August 2020

A new study pinpoints the genes and cell types that may underlie the atypical brain structure seen in people with genetic conditions linked to autism.

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News

Brain’s center of automatic body functions has autism links

by  /  20 August 2020

The brainstem controls such disparate functions as breathing, sensation and sleep — all of which can be altered in autism.

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Micrograph of neurons in mouse brain.
News

Inside scientists’ quest to map, modulate social circuits in autism

by  /  17 August 2020

A growing number of studies are revealing circuits that may underlie social challenges in autism — and how to fine-tune them.

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Illustration showing two hands plugging cables into different areas of the brain, eg. prefrontal cortex, motor cortex, etc.
News

Motor difficulties in autism, explained

by  /  13 August 2020

Most people with autism have motor difficulties, ranging from an atypical gait to problems with handwriting, but researchers still have much to learn about their causes and consequences.

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Collage illustration showing Lucina Uddin portrait with eye movements and brain images
Opinion / Q&A

Rethinking ‘noise’ in autism research

by  /  11 August 2020

Lucina Uddin says researchers should be cautious when analyzing their findings, because ‘noisy’ data may actually hold important information about brain functioning.

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Fat in bloodstream visualized as yellow balls, floating near blood cells, macro view.
News

Blood lipid levels may be altered in some autistic people

by  /  10 August 2020

About 6.5 percent of autistic people in the United States also have dyslipidemia, a condition characterized by abnormal lipids levels in the blood.

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Mouse brain images show proteins in mouse brains at different ages.
News / Toolbox

New ‘synaptome’ maps neuronal connections in mouse brain across lifespan

by  /  5 August 2020

A new atlas lays bare how synapses, or the junctions between neurons, change from birth to old age in mice.

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