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The Brain

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

November 2020
hands with a red and blue string puzzle.
Opinion / Reviews

Book Review: ‘The Pattern Seekers’ links human invention — past, present and future — to autism traits

by  /  10 November 2020

Simon Baron-Cohen’s new book is essentially a 272-page argument for his hypothesis that all human innovation stems from the ability to discern and manipulate causal patterns.

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Micrograph of nerve cells being targeted by CRISPR enzyme to activate the silenced gene in Angelman syndrome
News

Prenatal CRISPR therapy blocks Angelman syndrome traits in mice

by  /  9 November 2020

A gene-editing treatment shows long-lasting effects in a mouse model of Angelman syndrome, a genetic condition related to autism.

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Photograph of lab researchers at Ultragenyx
News

Gene therapy trial for autism-linked condition is put on hold

by  /  5 November 2020

All five participants in a clinical trial of a gene therapy for Angelman syndrome experienced leg weakness, leading sponsors to pause the study.

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Fifteen different drugs commonly prescribed to people with autism created unique behavioral signatures in mice.
News

‘MoSeq’ identifies drug-specific behaviors in autism mouse model

by  /  2 November 2020

A tool that relies on video cameras and machine learning can identify mice that have mutations in a top autism gene by their behaviors. It also detects how a widely used autism drug affects their movements.

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October 2020
News

Integrating molecular data may reveal subgroups of autism

by  /  30 October 2020

An analysis of four molecular datasets shows a distinct signature, including changes in gene expression and chemical DNA modifications, in some autism brains.

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four brain areas marked with flags: Cortex, amygdala, hippocampus, cerebellum
News

Brain structure changes in autism, explained

by  /  15 October 2020

Autistic people have distinct patterns of brain development, which sometimes result in differences in brain structure. Here’s what we know about those differences.

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neurons in green.
News

Brain organoids reveal neuronal flaws in syndrome tied to autism

by  /  12 October 2020

Neurons derived from people with 22q11.2 deletion syndrome show deficits in calcium signaling and electrical activity, pointing to possible therapeutic targets.

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Illustration shows a student struggling with a classroom task.
News

How the striatum is linked to autism

by  /  9 October 2020

The repetitive behaviors seen in autism may originate in the striatum, a cluster of neurons involved with initiating and executing movements.

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Brain hemispheres color-coded.
News

Autism shares brain structure changes with other psychiatric conditions

by  /  1 October 2020

Atypical development of a particular type of neuron explains the structural similarities seen in the brains of people with autism, schizophrenia and other conditions, according to a new study.

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September 2020
Illustration shows two long rows of vials with genetic information inside, the shadows they cast are in the shape of humans.
Features / Deep Dive

How scientists secure the data driving autism research

by  /  30 September 2020

Protecting the privacy of autistic people and their families faces new challenges in the era of big data.

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