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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.

April 2022

Biases skew behavioral predictions from brain scans

by  /  6 April 2022

Models trained on datasets that lack racial and ethnic diversity perform less accurately on brain scans from Black Americans than their white counterparts.

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March 2022

Unfamiliar surroundings bring out autism-like behaviors, brain circuit changes in model mice

by  /  31 March 2022

A brain area called the tail of the striatum may account for the shift.

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New MRI probe illuminates neuronal interactions

by  /  30 March 2022

The calcium-sensing instrument translates neuronal activity into signals that can be detected via functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).

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Neural network finds markers of autism, gender in brain scans

by  /  24 March 2022

Deep-learning algorithms can cut through some of the noise in brain imaging data collected across different sites.

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Switching neurons on and off to probe autism circuits

by  /  23 March 2022

A 3D optogenetics method can mimic natural rhythms of neural activity, rendering previously unanswerable questions amenable to inquiry — including questions about autism.

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New human neuron assays set stage for high-throughput autism drug screens

by  /  22 March 2022

The ability to conduct large-scale screening in human neurons could accelerate the discovery of autism treatments.

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Micrograph of neuron dendrite segments.

Maternal sleep apnea may contribute to autism-like traits in rats

by  /  18 March 2022

Pups born to mothers that experience low oxygen during sleep have overactive mTOR signaling, which has been linked to some forms of autism.

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Silenced X chromosome genes reawaken in new mouse model

by  /  3 March 2022

The new animal line could accelerate the discovery of gene-activating therapies for the autism-linked condition Rett syndrome.

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Brain floating in red uetero-like space with virus

As the pandemic wanes, will autism diagnoses rise in its wake?

by  /  2 March 2022

Given the known link between severe maternal infections and autism, some scientists are investigating whether COVID-19 during pregnancy can affect a child’s neurodevelopment.

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February 2022

Amygdala development diverges in autism-specific anxiety

by  /  24 February 2022

The brain region, which is involved in fear and emotion processing, develops differently in autistic children with anxiety than in those without anxiety or in non-autistic children; its development also depends on the type of anxiety a child experiences.

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