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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.

December 2021

Cluster of traits tied to rare mutations in autism-linked gene

by  /  20 December 2021

Developmental delay, intellectual disability and behavioral issues are common among people who have mutations in MYT1L, a gene with strong ties to autism.

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Artificial intelligence system categorizes interactions between mice

by  /  17 December 2021

New software can automatically identify and quantify mouse social behavior from videos, saving researchers time.

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Mouse cortex micrograph

Mutation in new autism candidate gene disrupts social brain area

by  /  16 December 2021

Mice missing a copy of the gene SENP1 have atypical social behavior likely due to a signaling imbalance in the retrosplenial cortex.

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Glial cells star in autism-linked gene expression analysis

by  /  15 December 2021

Many genes linked to autism are switched on in the brain’s glia, cells that help neurons develop and synapses form.

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Illustration of DNA helix highlighting the methylation process.

DNA methylation in autism, explained

by  /  13 December 2021

How chemical tags called methyl groups position themselves on genetic sequences may hint at some of the causes of autism.

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Myelin loss may explain how autism-linked DNA deletion affects cognition

by  /  8 December 2021

Deleting a copy of the gene TBX1 depletes the fatty myelin insulation that surrounds neurons and reduces cognitive speed in mice.

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Child with colorful tactile puzzle and clinician or therapist.

Autism without intellectual impairments more common than previously reported

by  /  1 December 2021

Almost 60 percent of autistic people may have an average or above-average intelligence quotient, according to a new longitudinal study.

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November 2021
Dr. Shafali Jeste portrait with a vibrant fuschia background.

Shafali Jeste: Early autism meets its match

by  /  30 November 2021

Shafali Jeste has spent the bulk of her scientific career searching for biological markers of autism. Her goal: to improve lives through early diagnosis and speedy testing of therapies.

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Stylized illustration combines flat color and 3D forms make up a mitochondria with human heads inside it.

Meet the ‘mitomaniacs’ who say mitochondria matter in autism

by  /  22 November 2021

Clues that problems with mitochondria contribute to autism have been accumulating for decades. In the past five years, a mutant mouse and a flurry of findings have energized the field.

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Synaptic overgrowth, hyperconnectivity may define autism subtype

by  /  18 November 2021

Model mice of the subtype also show hyperactivity in a signaling pathway called mTOR, bolstering the idea that distinct forms of autism have different biological roots and may require different treatment approaches.

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