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The Brain

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

August 2020
Brain images color-coded to show structural changes in autism.
News

Gene expression maps reveal origins of brain changes from autism mutations

by  /  21 August 2020

A new study pinpoints the genes and cell types that may underlie the atypical brain structure seen in people with genetic conditions linked to autism.

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Illustration showing the human brain made out of flower shapes with the brainstem labeled.
News

Brain’s center of automatic body functions has autism links

by  /  20 August 2020

The brainstem controls such disparate functions as breathing, sensation and sleep — all of which can be altered in autism.

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Micrograph of neurons in mouse brain.
News

Inside scientists’ quest to map, modulate social circuits in autism

by  /  17 August 2020

A growing number of studies are revealing circuits that may underlie social challenges in autism — and how to fine-tune them.

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Illustration showing two hands plugging cables into different areas of the brain, eg. prefrontal cortex, motor cortex, etc.
News

Motor difficulties in autism, explained

by  /  13 August 2020

Most people with autism have motor difficulties, ranging from an atypical gait to problems with handwriting, but researchers still have much to learn about their causes and consequences.

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Collage illustration showing Lucina Uddin portrait with eye movements and brain images
Opinion / Q&A

Rethinking ‘noise’ in autism research

by  /  11 August 2020

Lucina Uddin says researchers should be cautious when analyzing their findings, because ‘noisy’ data may actually hold important information about brain functioning.

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Fat in bloodstream visualized as yellow balls, floating near blood cells, macro view.
News

Blood lipid levels may be altered in some autistic people

by  /  10 August 2020

About 6.5 percent of autistic people in the United States also have dyslipidemia, a condition characterized by abnormal lipids levels in the blood.

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Mouse brain images show proteins in mouse brains at different ages.
News / Toolbox

New ‘synaptome’ maps neuronal connections in mouse brain across lifespan

by  /  5 August 2020

A new atlas lays bare how synapses, or the junctions between neurons, change from birth to old age in mice.

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July 2020
grid of six brain slices in different staining methods.
News / Toolbox

Software maps neurons to reference brain atlas

by  /  29 July 2020

A computer program aligns mouse brain images with a reference brain atlas, helping researchers analyze neurons and their connections in a standardized way.

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micrograph of a slice of mouse brain
News

Autism genes may play key role in development of amygdala

by  /  27 July 2020

Nearly all genes with moderate to strong ties to autism are expressed in the developing amygdala; a few show altered expression in the amygdalae of autistic people.

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Researcher attaching electrodes to a baby's head during an electroencephalography study in the Sleep Room
News

Infants’ brain waves may foretell autism traits

by  /  24 July 2020

Babies with telltale patterns of electrical activity in the brain have pronounced autism traits as toddlers.

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