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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.

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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Color-coded brain images showing reduced thickness of superior frontal gyrus and other regions associated with presence of increased levels of inflammatory moleucle IL-6.

Inflammation may reshape brain regions tied to autism

by  /  6 May 2022

Having a genetic predisposition to inflammation is linked to structural changes in brain regions implicated in neurodevelopmental conditions.

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Two people in cafe seen through window, crowded street beyond.

Autistic adults in Japan stay active in their communities, households

by  /  5 May 2022

A new longitudinal study paints a favorable picture of the outcomes for many autistic adults in the city of Yokohama.

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3D rendering of a mouse brain showing axons coming from the prefrontal cortex in various colors.

New atlas maps neuronal wiring in mouse brain

by  /  3 May 2022

The ‘projectome’ charts axonal pathways between individual cells in the prefrontal cortex, a brain region implicated in autism.

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April 2022

Mini biopsies point to source of lethal seizures in model mice

by  /  26 April 2022

Interneurons that fail to propagate electrical signals in mice that model Dravet syndrome may cause the animals, like people with the autism-linked condition, to die suddenly.

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organoids in early stages of development.

Organoids show how mutations in top autism gene may lead to brain overgrowth in people

by  /  19 April 2022

The loss of CHD8, a top autism gene, speeds up the production of certain neurons and leads to overgrowth in spheres of cultured brain cells.

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