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Spectrum: Autism Research News

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The Brain

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

A computer-rendered analysis of neurons

Autism-linked mutation disrupts brain circuit to change social behavior

by  /  24 June 2022
Therapies that target the circuit could boost social activity, new findings suggest.

Causal inference method mitigates motion bias in autism imaging studies

by  /  21 June 2022
Statistical modeling and machine learning helps blunt the bias in brain imaging studies that exclude young autistic children and those with prominent traits, a new study finds.

Poor sleep shifts social circuit in mice

by  /  20 June 2022
Even temporary bouts of too little non-REM sleep can lead to long-term changes in how the animals respond to certain social situations, new research suggests.
June 2022
Two young children play with a tablet computer underneath a blanket fort

Brain’s early visual areas reflect autism’s heritability

by  /  16 June 2022

Inherited genetic factors for autism influence brain development, new studies of autistic children and their younger siblings reveal.

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Different forms of autism have opposite problems with brain precursor cells

by  /  10 June 2022

The cells’ altered proliferation rates hint at ways to diagnose and potentially treat autism earlier.

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a grid of 9 brain maps showing activity in different areas of the brain

Brain networks diverge in autism by toddlerhood

by  /  8 June 2022

By as early as age 2, autistic children appear to have a smaller salience network and a larger default mode network, among other differences, than children without the condition.

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black-and-white image of a burst of neuron activity, indicated by the neurons flashing brightly and simultaneously

Autism-linked mutation alters neuronal network activity

by  /  7 June 2022

Neurons with a faulty copy of SETD1A, a gene tied to autism and schizophrenia, show structural abnormalities and altered connectivity patterns.

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Organoids test gene therapies for Pitt-Hopkins syndrome

by  /  2 June 2022

Strategies to replace or compensate for mutated copies of the TCF4 gene could lead to treatments for this profound form of autism, a new study suggests.

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May 2022
An illustration of a colorful, psychedelic landscape featuring two people standing on a hill speaking to one another

Tripping over the potential of psychedelics for autism

by  /  31 May 2022

Drugs such as LSD act primarily on the serotonin system, which is implicated in autism — and some autistic people who experiment with psychoactive compounds report enhanced social connections, among other benefits. But researchers have more questions than answers.

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Structural brain changes foretell language skills in autistic infants

by ,  /  19 May 2022

Increased white-matter maturation tracks with stronger language abilities later in childhood, but the relationship with cortical thickness is less clear.

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Organoids hint at origins of enlarged brains in autistic people

by  /  13 May 2022

The size of the cerebral cortex seems to depend on when neural progenitor cells multiply or differentiate into glial cells and neurons.

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MRIs

Growth charts map brain changes across lifespan

by  /  12 May 2022

The new resource is the first to chart human brain development from before birth to 100 years of age.

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White lab mice bunched up in corner of cage.

Mouse models mirror cerebellum patterns seen in autism

by  /  12 May 2022

Animals with different autism-linked mutations share disruptions to the mTOR signaling pathway, pointing to a potential molecular mechanism for the atypical cerebellar development seen in some autistic people.

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