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The Brain

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

News
MRIs show changes over time

Big brain may mark subtype of autism

by  /  27 November 2020
Autistic boys with large brains in early childhood still have large brains in adolescence, challenging the long-standing idea that brain enlargement in autism is temporary.
News
Mouse embryo with mutated cells.

Autism genes affect development of neurons and glia

by  /  26 November 2020
Researchers have devised a new way of seeing how gene mutations affect cells during development.
News
Dilated mouse pupil

Mice reveal roots of sensory issues tied to top autism gene

by  /  23 November 2020
Mice with mutations in the autism-linked gene SYNGAP1 have trouble sensing touch, which may stem in part from brain-circuit alterations and dulled alertness.
November 2020
Photograph shows young woman and older woman discussing paperwork.
News

‘Theory of mind’ does not fade with age among autistic adults

by  /  13 November 2020

Autistic people’s ability to understand another person’s thinking does not diminish with age, as it does for non-autistic people.

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Donna Werling portrait
Multimedia / Webinars

Webinar: Donna Werling on gene-expression differences in the brains of autistic people

18 November 2020

On 18 November, Donna Werling spoke about gene-expression patterns in the brains of autistic people, with an emphasis on neurobiology and sex differences.

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hands with a red and blue string puzzle.
Opinion / Reviews

Book Review: ‘The Pattern Seekers’ links human invention — past, present and future — to autism traits

by  /  10 November 2020

Simon Baron-Cohen’s new book is essentially a 272-page argument for his hypothesis that all human innovation stems from the ability to discern and manipulate causal patterns.

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Micrograph of nerve cells being targeted by CRISPR enzyme to activate the silenced gene in Angelman syndrome
News

Prenatal CRISPR therapy blocks Angelman syndrome traits in mice

by  /  9 November 2020

A gene-editing treatment shows long-lasting effects in a mouse model of Angelman syndrome, a genetic condition related to autism.

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Photograph of lab researchers at Ultragenyx
News

Gene therapy trial for autism-linked condition is put on hold

by  /  5 November 2020

All five participants in a clinical trial of a gene therapy for Angelman syndrome experienced leg weakness, leading sponsors to pause the study.

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Fifteen different drugs commonly prescribed to people with autism created unique behavioral signatures in mice.
News

‘MoSeq’ identifies drug-specific behaviors in autism mouse model

by  /  2 November 2020

A tool that relies on video cameras and machine learning can identify mice that have mutations in a top autism gene by their behaviors. It also detects how a widely used autism drug affects their movements.

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October 2020
News

Integrating molecular data may reveal subgroups of autism

by  /  30 October 2020

An analysis of four molecular datasets shows a distinct signature, including changes in gene expression and chemical DNA modifications, in some autism brains.

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four brain areas marked with flags: Cortex, amygdala, hippocampus, cerebellum
News

Brain structure changes in autism, explained

by  /  15 October 2020

Autistic people have distinct patterns of brain development, which sometimes result in differences in brain structure. Here’s what we know about those differences.

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neurons in green.
News

Brain organoids reveal neuronal flaws in syndrome tied to autism

by  /  12 October 2020

Neurons derived from people with 22q11.2 deletion syndrome show deficits in calcium signaling and electrical activity, pointing to possible therapeutic targets.

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Illustration shows a student struggling with a classroom task.
News

How the striatum is linked to autism

by  /  9 October 2020

The repetitive behaviors seen in autism may originate in the striatum, a cluster of neurons involved with initiating and executing movements.

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