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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.

July 2022
A cross-section of the human brain and limbic system

Amygdala-linked brain areas grow differently in autism

by  /  13 July 2022

The growth differences vary between autistic boys and girls and are most apparent among children with prominent social difficulties.

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Mouse study links dopamine in cerebellum to social behavior

by  /  6 July 2022

The signaling molecule’s social role in the ‘little brain’ involves Purkinje neurons in the Crus I and Crus II regions, a new study reveals.

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June 2022
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.

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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.

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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.

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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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