TOPIC

The Brain

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

News / Toolbox

Artificial neurons may repair damaged cells and circuits

by  /  17 January 2020
Electronic neurons made from silicon mimic brain cells and could be used to treat conditions such as autism.
Opinion / Viewpoint

How the autonomic nervous system may govern anxiety in autism

by ,  /  14 January 2020
The branch of the nervous system that regulates subconscious bodily processes such as breathing and digestion may play a key role in autism.
News
Small child with fever has his temperature checked

Fever’s immune effect on brain may ease autism traits

by  /  8 January 2020
An immune molecule produced during a fever improves sociability in three mouse models of autism.
December 2019
Features / Special Reports / 2019: Year in review

Five hot topics in autism research in 2019

23 December 2019

This year’s hot topics in autism research center around brain organoids, heart rate, the gut microbiome, treatment timing and early detection.

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Child in a bike helmet repurposed as a brain scanner, smiles and laughs
News / Toolbox

Modified bike helmet scans brains of people in motion

by  /  20 December 2019

A magnetic scanner fitted within an ordinary bicycle helmet may make it easier to visualize autistic children’s brains.

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Mice neurons seen in green
News

Loss of autism gene may lead to pile-up of proteins in neurons

by  /  19 December 2019

A shortage of CUL3, a leading autism gene, may impair social behavior in mice by ramping up protein production in neurons.

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a young girl has her height measured by a woman
News

Top autism gene tied to unusual skull, skeletal growth

by  /  12 December 2019

People with mutations in CHD8, a top autism gene, tend to be tall and have large heads.

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Illustration shows fetus with molecules interacting inside the mother's belly
Opinion / Viewpoint

In defense of sex steroids’ role in autism

by ,  /  12 December 2019

Multiple independent studies are revealing evidence suggesting that sex steroids are important in autism.

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A single ecstasy pill on a blue background.
News

Distinct brain pathway underlies ecstasy’s social effects

by  /  11 December 2019

The drug popularly known as ecstasy may boost sociability through brain circuits distinct from that underlying its ‘high.’

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Mouse sniffing the air
News

Mice with autism mutation may be indifferent to social scents

by  /  5 December 2019

Neurons in mice that lack an autism gene called CNTNAP2 do not differentiate well between social and nonsocial smells — an issue that seems to stem from haphazard neuronal firing.

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Two sides of a 3D human brain showing different areas highlighted in various colors
News

Brains of autistic people show unusual left-right symmetry

by  /  4 December 2019

The hemispheres in autistic people’s brains are more symmetrical than those of their typical peers, but it is unclear what this difference means.

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November 2019
News / Toolbox

Study links large set of common genes to brain structure

by  /  29 November 2019

A new analysis of nearly 40,000 people pinpoints 48 genetic variants that may determine the volume of certain brain areas.

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Micrograph of mouse brain showing transplanted human microglia
News / Toolbox

Chimeric mouse model aids study of brain’s immune cells

by  /  15 November 2019

A new technique allows researchers to transplant human microglia into mouse brains and better study the association between these cells and autism.

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